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About this work

Healthwatch Barnsley and Healthwatch Sheffield jointly produced a toolkit for primary care services to help them deliver the Friends and Family Test. This work has been funded by NHS England to look at the Friends and Family Test (FFT) within primary care, to carry out Enter and View visits to gather feedback and good practice around FFT and then produce a toolkit which could be used by primary care services to help them embed FFT in the work that they do and, as a result, gather more patient views and patient experience.

Although this toolkit is focused on general practice, the same ideas could be replicated in any primary care service.

How we carried out our research

Healthwatch Barnsley decided to carry out an Enter and View to Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to look at how they promote and implement FFT across outpatients, the accident and emergency department and wards 19 and 20. Barnsley Hospital was an early implementer of the test and had tried different ways to promote the test before agreeing on their current model.

From these visits Healthwatch Barnsley produced a number of reports which they were then able to map across to primary care services and gave us a better understanding of implementing a programme such as FFT in a medical setting. Healthwatch Barnsley then looked at the FFT submission rates over a six month period for all the general practices in Barnsley From this they identified a sample of six consistently high performing practices and six practices that did not have very high FFT submissions.

The twelve practices were also selected to ensure that they covered the major geographical divisions in Barnsley, as well as the range of demographic profiles in Barnsley to achieve a broadly representative sample.

A combination of questionnaire surveys and interviews were used to collect the data. Healthwatch Barnsley surveyed patients on a random basis and staff members were selected partly by random and partly by the staff volunteering or being selected by practice managers.

Healthwatch Sheffield looked specifically at dental practices.

They examined FFT submission rates over the last six months for all the dental practices in Sheffield. From this they identified four practices, two of which provided higher response rates, and two of which provided less than five responses per month.They ensured that the practices were in different parts and demographic areas of the city, except for two, one of which had a very good response rate, and the other a poor one, which were neighbouring practices. They thought it would be worth investigating why neighbouring practices had very different response rates for FFT. They carried out Enter and View visits to the practices and spoke to a mixture of dental staff, practice managers, nurses and patients.

This research helped us to understand what might be needed in a toolkit to make it easier for primary care services to embed FFT across general practices.

The toolkit needed to be easy to use, have low cost solutions and be available on websites for services to download.

Elements of the toolkit are designed to be used as standalone items, or together, to ensure that FFT is promoted to as many people as possible and that this then helps to increase the number of submissions each practice gets.
Ideas for the future

One thing we did come across whilst doing the research is the difficulty to promote FFT to people who do not speak English as a first language. One general practice Healthwatch Barnsley spoke to had 64 languages spoken within their practice and there was no way that they could translate the information into all these languages.

One solution to this would be to use technology to overcome this barrier and have tablet devices within the surgery that have the technology to be able to translate the information into other languages, or provide text to speech services. However this would require significant investment from NHS England to be able to implement these systems.

If completed though it would open up FFT to a big section of the patient population and help them to feel that their feedback was valued and help them to become more involved in the practice they attend.

Posters & Leaflets

Your feedback matters 1 A4  or A3

Your feedback matters 2 A4 or A3

What's in it for me? poster  1 A4

What's in it for me? poster  2 A4

Friends and Family Test leaflet

This is a printable version of