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The Friends and Family Test (FFT) is a simple main question and follow-up question which asks patients whether they would recommend the service they have received to friends and family who need similar treatment or care

Friends & Family Test question
The FFT Score
How patients complete the Test
What Homerton do with the results
The Test question translated

Friends & Family Test question
The FFT has been developed by the Department of Health for use across all hospitals and community sites in England and provides patients with the opportunity to give direct feedback on the care and treatment they receive.  Patients may have used any of the following Homerton services:

  • A&E
  • Inpatient 
  • Outpatient
  • Community clinic
  • Maternity

At some stage during their care a patient will be asked the following question:

'How likely are you to recommend our Ward/A&E/ Service to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?'

FFT Handheld Device
Using a handheld device the patient chooses from responses ranging from extremely likely, to extremely unlikely.

Publishing the results of the FFT every month is the latest step towards creating more transparency in the NHS and ensuring that patients lead the drive to improve quality of services. NHS England are able to monitor how patients across England are answering the FFT question and Homerton can compare themselves against these other trusts. Patients can make their own assessments of how their local hospitals are performing and make informed decisions about where they choose to receive their treatment using The Electronic Referral Service (e-RS).

The FFT Score
Until September 2014 the FFT score was a numerical score calculated as the 'proportion of patients who would strongly recommend the service minus those who would not recommend service, or who are indifferent.'

From October 2014 this has changed so  two results are shown 

  • the % of patients who would recommend the service/ward /A&E ('extremely likely' plus ‘likely’)
  • the % of patients who would not recommend service/ward/ A&E ('extremely unlikely' plus ‘unlikely’).

Follow the link to the NHS England web site to see the results for all hospitals

How Homerton asks patients to complete the Friends and Family Test
The FFT is the first question on a very short survey – taken altogether the surveys help us listen to what patients are saying and make improvements were they are needed. Using an ipad or paper survey patients are given 6 options to choose from, ranging from 'extremely likely' to 'extremely unlikely' and 'Don't know’. Patients can also complete the survey online. We are developing surveys in easy read and accessible format to make sure that every patient has the opportunity to be heard. Your responses will help us better understand and meet our patient’s needs. The surveys take less than 5 minutes to complete.

What Homerton does with the results
By using the results of the FFT question and the survey questions, managers and staff 'from Ward to Board' are informed and empowered to participate in responding to your feedback.  The results are discussed locally by our ward sisters and charge nurses and department managers and reported to the specialist divisions right up to the Trust Board and to the Clinical Commissioning group.  You can see the feedback on our ‘you said we did boards’ and the boards tell you what the hospital has done in response to your comments. The boards are on our ward and departments in the acute site and will be in our community sites by March 2015.

The Friends and Family Test question translated
Translations have been completed in a range of languages to support the promotion of the NHS Friends and Family Test in A&E, In-patients/daycases, Outpatients, Community Clinics and Maternity Services. Every effort has been made by NHS England to ensure that translations are accurate, but responsibility cannot be taken for any errors within the copy of this document. It is recognised that not all languages are covered.

If you have any comments or questions about the FFT please email