The Friends and Family Test – already making a difference in hospitals across the NHS – will be rolled out to mental health services for the first time so service users can give their own feedback on their care and mental health Trusts will be able to take swift action if improvements are needed.
The Friends and Family test asks the following question: “How likely are you to recommend our service to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?”
There is a scale of response options, ranging from ‘extremely likely’ to ‘extremely unlikely’, with an opportunity for service users to comment further on the care they have received.
All of our surveys are completely confidential, and responses are not identifiable to any individual. Giving us your feedback will never affect your care or treatment but may help us to improve your local services.
The Friends and Family Test does not replace existing feedback methods, with service users and visitors still able to pass on their compliments and complaints in the normal way.
To prepare for the roll out of the Friends and Family Test across all our services by January 2015, we are running a pilot to try out different ways of collecting feedback from our service users. We will be trialling different methods of surveying including an online survey and a postcard survey.
From the beginning of August, we will ask all our service users who are discharged from our mental health inpatient wards in Bolton, Salford and Trafford if they would recommend our services to their family and friends, if they needed similar treatment or care.
The Friends and Family question will be added to our current service user experience questionnaire. Service users will be provided with the opportunity to complete the online version of the questionnaire on discharge from their ward.
From the beginning of August, we will also ask all our service users who attend appointments at the Rivington Unit in Bolton, Ramsgate House in Salford and Brook Heys in Trafford if they would recommend our services to their family and friends, if they needed similar treatment or care.
Service users will be given a postcard to fill in on their arrival to their appointment and will be invited to post these in our boxes on reception at the Rivington Unit, Ramsgate House and Brook Heys.
The pilot will end in four weeks allowing us time to review the methods used in order to support the launch of the Friends and Family Test from 1 January 2015.
How will the results be used?
The information will give us invaluable feedback on what you think of the care and treatment you have received, which along with existing ways of gathering feedback, will help us to make improvements for service users.
The Friends and Family Test was announced by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, in May 2012 as a way of identifying the best performing hospitals in England, and was based on recommendations by the Care Quality Forum.
The results of the Friends and Family Test are published on NHS Choices.
For more information
Read the national leaflet The Friends and Family Test – A short guide for patients [pdf] 703KB .
Patients and visitors may also wish to leave feedback about our services on NHS Choices, share their story by talking to staff from our C.A.R.E Hub or post a review to independent feedback website Patient Opinion.