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 from January 2015. This will enable service users to give feedback on their care and mental health trusts 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 early next year, we ran a pilot to try out different ways of collecting feedback from our service users.
From July to September 2014, we rolled-out the Friends and Family Test to four community sites (three mental health teams and one substance misuse team), to all of our district inpatient services, via a kiosk in our medium secure unit and to our three memory assessment teams.
The different methods we used so our service users could answer the Friends and Family Test question were; an online survey, a paper questionnaire, a postcard or a kiosk.
Results of the pilot
Below are the results from the 223 service users who answered the question across the 11 services we ran the pilot.
48% of service users who took part said they were ‘extremely likely’ to recommend our services to friends and family, and 33% said they were ‘likely’ to.
Some of the comments from the free text section of the survey include:“I have been treated with kindness and respect. Have felt as though I mattered and was being listened to. Professional and caring throughout. I now see a future” “Amazing staff; helpful and polite” “The crisis team are ok but need some improving but the service on reception is very good.” “I've been happy during my stay.” “Friendly staff, efficient service, good treatment and clean building”
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’.