Friends and Family test

The Friends and Family Test (FFT) is a feedback tool that supports the principle that people who use NHS services should have the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience.

It asks people if they would recommend the services they have used and offers a range of responses. When combined with supplementary follow-up questions, the FFT provides a mechanism to highlight both good and poor patient experience.

Launched in April 2013, the FFT question has been asked in all NHS inpatient and A&E departments across England and from 1 December 2014, the FFT will also be available in GP practices.

Joint BMA, NHS England, NHS Employers guidance on data submission for the Friends & Family Test (FFT) has now been published and can be accessed here.

This accompanies the GPC’s more general FFT guidance published on the BMA website here.

Mandatory requirements

There are some mandatory requirements in the Friends and Family Test.
These are:

  • Provide an opportunity for people who use the practice to give anonymous feedback through the FFT
  • Use the standard wording of the FFT question and the responses exactly
  • Include at least one follow up question of your choice which allows the opportunity to provide free text. While it is up to practices to choose the second question themselves, there must be a second question.
  • Submit data to NHS England each month
  • Publish results locally

Submitting data

The collected data should be submitted via the Calculating Quality Reporting System.
Practices are required to submit data to NHS England via CQRS relating only to the prescribed question. Data relating to the second, practice-chosen question should not be submitted.

Practice should submit:

  • The total number of responses in each response category, added across each collection method, and
  • The number of responses collected through each collection method.

For further guidance and resources on the Friends and Family Test, visit the FFT section on the BMA website here.