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​​Friends and Family Test

The NHS Friends and Family Test (FFT) is an important opportunity for you to provide feedback on the services that provide your care and treatment. Your feedback will help NHS England to improve services for everyone.

It was introduced in 2013 and asks patients whether they would recommend hospital wards, A&E departments and maternity services to their friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment. This means every patient in these wards and departments is able to give quick feedback on the quality of the care they receive, giving hospitals a better understanding of the needs of their patients and enabling improvements.

Going forward the FFT will be available in GP practices from 1 December 2014 and then expand to mental health services and community services in January 2015. Other services will offer the friends and family test from April 2015 such as NHS dental practices, ambulance services, patient transport services, acute hospitals outpatients and day cases. The aim is for FFT to become available to everyone using any NHS services.

For more information about the programme visit NHS England.

Recent Feedback from Dorset County Hospital Patients via Friends and Family

"The attention I received during my stay was excellent. All members of staff kept me well informed and were most kind in all respects. Super clean hospital."

"Staff very understanding and kind, wonderful staff day and night. Food very good. Everything highly recommended."

"Faultless service, I couldn't have asked for better."

"The staff are amazing. The care mum received has been first class. They answered all our questions and were never too busy to reassure us."

"I don't think I could have been on a ward with more caring and attentive staff. Nothing was too much trouble and they were very reassuring. All members of staff deserve special praise. The hospital food was excellent as well."

Test Results on NHS Choices

Results for hospitals and maternity services are available on NHS Choices. Results for other services will be published on NHS Choices as they become available. To find out how a service performs, simply use the Services near you search. Add a postcode or town into the location search box and then select the provider of your choice. On the overview page you will find a box labelled 'Quality of Service'. From here you will be able to access information on hospital and maternity services test scores.

Additional friends and family test data is published by NHS England.

Hospitals may also publish their results in their annual reports and quality accounts.

How does it work?

When you are discharged from a service, or within the 48 hours that follow, you will be asked to answer the following question: 'How likely are you to recommend our service to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?'

You will be invited to respond to the question by choosing one of six options, ranging from 'extremely likely' to 'extremely unlikely'.

You will also have the opportunity to explain why you have given your answer, so please answer any follow-up questions.

You may be asked to answer the question before going home, or you may be invited to do so by returning a postcard, by phone or on a website.

Women will be asked the question at four points during their maternity care:

Antenatal care – to be surveyed at the 36 week antenatal appointment


Care on the postnatal ward – to be surveyed at discharge from the ward/birth unit/following a home birth

Postnatal community care – to be surveyed at discharge from the care of the community midwifery team to the care of the health visitor/GP (usually at 10 days postnatal).

You can ask a member of staff for more information about how this information is used.

Do you have to respond to the question?

Your answer is voluntary. But if you do answer, your feedback will provide valuable information for your hospital to celebrate good practice, and identify opportunities to make improvements.

Your answer will not be traced back to you, and your details will not be passed on to anyone. A member of your family or a friend is welcome to answer the question if you are unable to.

If you feel that you should have been given the opportunity to respond but did not receive the question, please contact the Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) team or the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team at your hospital. Please also contact PPI or PALS if you would like more information on how the test will be carried out in your hospital.

How will the results be used?

Hospitals will gather the results and analyse them rapidly to see if any action is required. The responses to the FFT question will be used to create an overall score, which will be published on this website.

Does this replace the NHS complaints procedure or other forms of feedback?

No, this will not replace the current NHS complaints procedure or other forms of feedback. Hospitals and other service providers will continue to use their own ways of gathering feedback in addition to the NHS friends and family test.

All inpatient and A&E results for Dorset County Hospital’s Friends and Family Test are posted on display boards located on each ward and at the A&E. Results for each NHS hospital can be found on the NHS Friends and Family Test Data website.