14 March 2016 - National Friends and Family Test Spotlight Week (14 March – 18 March 16)

The Friends and Family Test (FFT) asks a simple question to find out whether, based on a patient’s experience of North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), they rate it highly enough to say they would recommend it to the people they care about.

FFT is an important national feedback tool that allows people who use NHS services have the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience. The feedback gathered by individual NHS organisations across the country is being used to improve local services and make changes that really matter to patients and their care.

As part of a public-awareness raising week, the FFT is in the spotlight with a series of local events and other initiatives to let people know how they can have their say on the NHS without using lengthy formal patient surveys or making a complaint.

NWAS is getting involved in the week by sharing updates and statistics as well as beginning development of an FFT comment card to be shared on ambulance vehicles and attending the NHS England national FFT conference being held in Leeds on Thursday 17 March.

Since launching the FFT with patients in 2014, initially as a pathfinder pilot site contributing to national guidance, the Trust has recorded 11,014 pieces of FFT patient feedback.  Figures are submitted to NHS England every month and, nationally, almost 17 million pieces of patient feedback have been given in the past three years.

In general, more than 9 out of 10 people have given a positive response and for NWAS the latest Paramedic Emergency Services and Patient Transport Service FFT scores for 2015/16 were 94.7% positive satisfaction. NWAS FFT scores on 111 services continue to be collated.

NWAS patients are also given an opportunity to provide FFT comments through postal surveys, comment cards, by phone and via text. This feedback provides a rich source of ideas and helps to highlight strengths as well as areas for improvement. 

As information is provided shortly after the patient’s contact with the Trust, more accurate data can be collected and action can be taken quickly to address any issues however big or small.

Yunus Mogra, Senior Patient Experience Officer for NWAS said: “I think the Friends and Family Test supports our patients to be able to provide feedback quickly and anonymously not just in relation to their ambulance clinical care but also how they have been treated as an individual. This feedback is an invaluable quality measure for the Trust to complement, continuously learn and improve on our services.” 

Around the country, the NHS is listening to patients and there are thousands of examples of action being taken in response to patients’ views. 

In response to FFT feedback received by the Trust, work has been undertaken to explore the benefits of the booking reminder service for patients using our Patient Transport Service. Comments have also led to closer working with third party providers including joint safety initiatives to help lead to a better patient experience.

The Trust has taken on board comments to help people understand what to expect when calling 999 and how calls are prioritised as well as ensuring continued work with community groups to provide this information.

All feedback provided through the FFT is completely anonymous and patients are given contact details should they wish to follow up on their comments.

To find out more visit www.nhs.uk/friendsandfamily or email the Trust on patientexperience@nwas.nhs.uk

FFT results 2016