Understanding the Friends & Family Test

From April 2013 patients will be asked a simple question to find out if they would recommend a particular A&E department or ward to their friends following treatment. The results of this short follow-up test will be used to measure and improve the experience of patients.


The Friends and Family Test (FFT) aims to provide a simple, headline metric which, when combined with follow-up questions, can be used to drive cultural change and continuous improvements in the quality of the care received by NHS patients.

The Question

‘How likely are you to recommend our ward / A&E department to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?’

The Answers

A 6-point scale of response options will be used
from ‘extremely likely’ to ‘extremely unlikely’.

Follow-up Questions

Asking follow-up questions at the same time as the Friends and Family Test, are required to offer patients the chance to extend or explain the score they give, it also gives the Trust a chance to garner greater insight into patient feedback that can help drive real improvement.

When to Survey Patientssynapta8

Patients must be invited to feedback within 48 hours of discharge, this is a key FFT requirement. Getting feedback as close as possible to the experience will deliver Trusts more accurate and actionable insight.

Response rates

It is a requirement that responses are received from at least 15%
 of the patients each Trust invites to survey. Getting as high a response rate as possible helps paint a more accurate picture of performance. (FFT Health expects over 50%)

Reporting requirements

Trusts will be required to report to ‘Unify’, summaries of responses received by Ward, as well as reporting locally at Hospital and Ward level.

It will become common for some of the information, particularly the Quantitative information, to be shared with Patients as well.

The Outcome of Service Change, derived from the Qualitative feedback is likely to also be shared with patients and stakeholders.