Patient Feedback – The Friends and Family Test
Surveys have been used to gather patient feedback on the wards at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) for 18 months and now the feedback programme is set to expand across the whole hospital.
Patients who visit one of the Trusts clinics or who visit the Accident and Emergency Department now also have the opportunity to answer the Friends and Family Test (FFT) question, How likely are you to recommend our ward to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?
Currently five clinics and A&E are offering patients the opportunity to feedback by Freepost postcard, online through a quick response code found on posters or by downloading an App. This patient feedback programme will be rolled out across clinics in the next few weeks. Inpatients are offered the Friends and Family Test question plus ten more questions by volunteers visiting the wards with surveys on iPads.
The Trust surveys approximately 1200 patients per month at the moment across all inpatient wards, A&E and the five pilot Outpatient clinics. The feedback is shared with each of the wards and helps staff to make improvements to give patients a better experience when they in the Trusts care.
Anna Dugdale, Chief Executive said: The Friends and Family Test as part of our surveys has already helped us to make significant improvements at the hospital. For example, hospital food has been a huge area of comment, and we took notice.
Our catering provider Serco has been working with local chef Richard Hughes from the Lavender House, to really improve the menu and offer more choice. And with the new way of ordering, patients can reserve what they choose from the menu rather than hoping a dish they would like is left on the trolley.
The value of enjoying a good nutritious meal if you have to be in hospital should not be underestimated. We often have to tempt people to eat and the menu is part of that, which can be part of a patients recovery.
The Friends and Family Test fits in well with the Trusts other feedback methods, such as the Quality Assurance Audit programme on the wards. Unannounced ward inspections occur daily seven days a week in two or three wards per day across the hospital.
External independent representatives from local voluntary and community groups are on every audit team and talk with patients and families by themselves to listen to their feedback. The teams also include two senior nurses. The external representatives share their findings with the ward they have visited as part of the audit team at the end of each audit.
The value of this Quality Assurance Audit programme now has been recognized nationally in the Health Service Journal awards for 2013 where the Trust has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Acute Sector Innovation category.
Anna Dugdale added: We are constantly seeking patient feedback. It is the insight provided to us through the in-depth comments from the large number of patient surveys we carry out across the hospital, and the objectivity and independence of the external representatives in the Quality Assurance Audits, which gives us invaluable insight and understanding of our patients experience and helps us in the continuous drive to improve our services for patients.“