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Friends and Family Test

The Friends and Family Test is a measure of patient experience of services and asks patients one simple question: ‘How likely are you to recommend our ward/A&E department/maternity service to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?’. Answers on a scale of extremely likely to extremely unlikely.

At monthly intervals, the results of the NHS Friends and Family Test for all acute hospital inpatient, accident and emergency and maternity departments are published by NHS England. The results can also be seen on the NHS Choices website. Making these results available at regular intervals and at a national level, reinforces NHS England’s commitment to transparency, openness and public participation in health and care.

The data includes results for hospital inpatient and accident and emergency departments for every Trust in England and provides on-going insight into the experiences of patients and how they view their local hospital services. Since 1 October 2013, all providers of NHS funded maternity services in England also began asking women the same FFT question.

For more information on the Friend and Family Test please visit the NHS Choices website.

Friends and Family Test Data

Latest data, including a breakdown by inpatient ward at Bedford Hospital, together with details on how the data is calculated, can be found on the NHS England website.

How we collect data

We ask patients to provide their feedback through a number of ways including a token system in A&E and outpatients (whereby patients drop tokens into one of six slots), a paper survey, and also text messaging / SMS.

The number used to send text messages is 80870. Please note that
there is no charge for the patient to give feedback via text message and that any information provided will remain confidential and anonymous.

How the results are used

From ward to board, staff and managers will be able to look at the results of the Friends and Family Test and take appropriate action. It acts as a catalyst for hospitals and Trusts to examine how their services are experienced by patients and how they can make improvements.

The data will also tell everyone how their local services are performing through the eyes of those who are using them and enable the public voice across the entire health service to be heard clearly and formally. Patients will also be able to use the information to make decisions about their care and to challenge their local trusts to improve services while championing those who excel.