The NHS will be rolling out a Friends and Family Test (FFT) which allows GPs the freedom to ask specific patients for feedback. This would result in a ‘morale boost’ for the GPs as they have the ability to pick and choose who to approach to take the FFT depending on the GP’s perceived experience of the patient’s treatment.
The concept has been snubbed by GP leaders, who do not believe GPs must ‘sink’ to the ‘ultimate low’ of canvassing patients for positive feedback. The FFT consists of a five point scale ranging from ‘extremely likely’ to ‘extremely unlikely’, and can be answeed anonymously.
The NHS England spokesperson explained, ‘It is important to be clear that the purpose of the FFT is not to conduct an official assessment or performance measure of services.
‘The fundamental principal of the FFT is that all patients should be allowed to provide feedback on their NHS funded care or treatment that can be used to identify the opportunity to make improvements. The requirement is to make the opportunity to use FFT available to all patients.
‘Practices are allowed to proactively seek feedback from specific patients if they want to, and there is nothing to stop a practice seeking positive feedback – in fact, it is one of the strengths of the FFT that it has been seen to provide staff with morale boosting feedback which reinforces that most of the time they are giving great care that is appreciated.’
The controversial questionnaire will be rolled out in December of 2014.