Hospital patients are being urged to tell the NHS how they feel about their care through a special test.
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is participating in a week of awareness events about the Friends and Family Test (FFT).
The Trust is encouraging people to take part when they have used one of its many services.
The FFT poses a simple question to find out whether, based on your experience, you would rate the service highly enough to say you would recommend it to the people you care about. This is seen as the acid test for most people when it comes to deciding if a service is good enough.
In the last year, the Trust’s Patient Experience team used FFT responses and feedback to influence key decision making across the organisation.
Examples include the redevelopment of the Trust’s Outpatients’ department, the installation of televisions in our Emergency Department that give hourly updates on waiting times and the installation of a ‘traffic lights’ system that monitors noise levels at night-time in areas where this has been highlighted as an issue. Since the introduction of this system, the number of comments has reduced.
Andrew Heath from the Trust’s Patient Experience team said: “We are proud to consistently achieve above 95% of our patients saying they are likely to recommend our Trust as a place to receive their treatment or care.
“Working closely with teams across our multi-site and integrated organisation, we manage a series of initiatives to continually improve our service users’ experiences.
“We see FFT responses as the golden thread that binds our feedback received from compliments, complaints, concerns, local inpatient survey, our volunteer ‘Listeners’ who talk with our patients about their experiences, and ‘Always Event’ programme together. This gives a reflective and accurate picture of the experience service users receive.
“At induction, our staff receive an introduction to the team and the importance of FFT. We also deliver bespoke training for new and existing services that require support or wish to better utilise FFT feedback.
“We ensure all areas have the appropriate resources available for our patients to complete the FFT, and receive monthly FFT intelligence reports with recommendations on how responses can be explored further and changes developed.
“Reports are made available to staff via our intranet site and shared with staff at team meetings, as well as being displayed on clinical areas ‘Knowing how we are doing’ boards which are available to view by our patients, their families and the public.”
Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is also participating in the awareness week.
Dr Amanda Doyle, a local GP and Chief Clinical Officer at NHS Blackpool CCG, said: “Many people don’t quite know how to provide feedback on the care they have received from the NHS but it’s incredibly important to have your say so you can help shape and improve your local services.
“As a CCG we offer many ways for people to provide us with feedback through our ‘Your Voice’ sessions and surveys on our website. Patients can also get involved with their Patient Participation Groups at their GP practice.
“The NHS Friends and Family Test gives you the chance to provide quick, anonymous feedback on your care and treatment experience. Not only do the findings get sent back locally to affect a change locally but it also feeds in to a national overview that can affect policy decisions.”
Your feedback really can help to make a difference to patients’ lives. To find out more about the NHS Friends and Family Test please visit www.nhs.uk/friendsandfamily