The NHS Friends and Family Test

The NHS friends and family test (FFT) is an important opportunity for you to provide feedback on the care and treatment you receive and to improve services.

It was introduced in 2013 and asks patients whether they would recommend hospital wards, A&E departments and maternity services to their friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment. This means every patient in these wards and departments is able to give quick feedback on the quality of the care they receive, giving hospitals a better understanding of the needs of their patients and enabling improvements.

Test results on the NHS Website 

Results for hospitals and maternity services are available on the NHS website. To find out how a service performs, simply use the services near you search. Add a postcode or town into the location search box and then select the provider of your choice. On the overview page you will find a link to the NHS England site where you can view the Friends and Family Test Data.

How does it work?

For inpatients, maternity and A&E services, when you are discharged, or within the 48 hours that follow, you will be asked to answer the following question: “How likely are you to recommend our service to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?”

You may be asked to answer the question before going home, or you may be invited to do so by returning a postcard, by phone or on a website.

You will be invited to respond to the question by choosing one of six options, ranging from “extremely likely” to “extremely unlikely”.

You will also have the opportunity to explain why you have given your answer, so please answer any follow-up questions.

Women will be asked the question at four points during their maternity care:

  • Antenatal care – to be surveyed at the 36 week antenatal appointment
  • Birth
  • Care on the postnatal ward – to be surveyed at discharge from the ward/birth unit/following a home birth
  • Postnatal community care – to be surveyed at discharge from the care of the community midwifery team to the care of the health visitor/GP (usually at 10 days postnatal).

Do you have to respond to the question?

Your answer is voluntary. But if you do answer, your feedback will provide valuable information for your hospital to celebrate good practice, and identify opportunities to make improvement.

Your answer will not be traced back to you, and your details will not be passed on to anyone.

A member of your family or a friend is welcome to answer the question if you are unable to.

If you feel that you should have been given the opportunity to respond but did not receive the question, please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team. Please also contact PALS if you would like more information on how the test will be carried out in your hospital.

How will the results be used?

The results are gathered and analysed to see if any action is required. The responses to the FFT question will be used to create an overall score, which will be published on the NHS pages for each of our hospital sites.

Does this replace the NHS complaints procedure or other forms of feedback?

No, this will not replace the current NHS complaints procedure or other forms of feedback. For more information about feedback, please visit our Compliments and Concerns page.