Friends and Family Test performance

The Friends and Family Test helps service providers and commissioners understand whether their patients are happy with the service provided, or where improvements are needed.

Friends and Family Test (FFT) is a national patient survey which began in 2013. It is an important and simple way for patients to give feedback about their care and treatment.

What are patients asked?

Patients are asked the following standard question:

‘How likely are you to recommend our <ward / A&E department / service> to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?’

A scale of answer options are available from extremely likely to extremely unlikely. Patients also have the opportunity to comment further so that the Trust can find out more details about their response which may help drive improvements.

Staff participate in an equivalent survey every three months.

How is the survey carried out?

The Trust carries out the survey in a number of ways including paper surveys, online surveys and automated telephone calls.

Responses provided by patients are anonymous. We will be able to identify the service/specialty you used (e.g. orthopaedic outpatients) but will not have any further information that would enable us to identify you.

If you do not wish to participate in the survey, please tell a member of staff.

What is the legal basis for processing this data?

The NHS Act 2006 Section 13E (inserted by Health and Social Care Act 2012) specifies that the NHS has a duty to secure continuous improvement in quality of services to individuals, particularly the quality of experience undergone by patients.

NHS England discharges this duty via the NHS Standard Contract. Organisations undertaking the FFT as part of the NHS Standard Contract are therefore ‘exercising official authority’ in doing so and this is the legal basis under the GDPR.

The use of identifiable health information (such as attendance at a particular clinic) is ‘Special Category Data’ and is covered in article 9(2)(h) under ‘the management of health or social care systems’ and permissible under the GDPR.

A third party provider runs the automated telephone service using data provided by the Trust under a secure file transfer protocol (SFTP). Responses are processed by the Trust within the UK. People are not identified through the responses and free text comments provided unless they indicate that they wish to have further contact from a member of staff, when we would extract contact information if available.

People do have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office, visit

Which services are included in the survey?

The Trust is in the process of introducing the survey across all services. At present, the following services are carrying out the survey:

  • Harrogate District Hospital Emergency Department
  • Outpatients
  • Inpatients (including day cases)
  • Maternity services
  • Adult community services (including district nursing and podiatry)
  • GP Out of Hours Service
  • Wheelchair services
  • Some specialist children’s services

What are the latest results?

How to interpret the results

The downloadable tables present more detailed results for each of our services.

The following measures are included:

  • % recommending – this is the proportion of patients who responded “Extremely Likely” or “Likely” to the FFT question
  • % not recommending – this is the proportion of patients who responded “Extremely Unlikely” or “Unlikely” to the FFT question
  • responses – this is the total number of patients who chose to answer the FFT question

What does the Trust do with the FFT feedback?

The Trust monitors the overall scores and response rates for each ward, department and service. Each ward, department and service also reviews all additional comments provided by patients as part of the FFT survey. The inpatient wards are developing notice boards where they will display summary information and any themes emerging from FFT questionnaires and will provide information to patients on any actions taken as a result of comments received as part of FFT.

Some examples of the specific actions that we have taken so far based on patient feedback via the FFT survey include:

  • Providing water fountains and cooling fans in patient areas;
  • Providing more information to patients waiting to be seen in the Emergency Department about the length of time they are likely to have to wait;
  • Photo boards with staff names and roles have been developed for wards to make it clearer to patients, carers and families who each member of staff is.