Forget Trip Advisor, now HOSPITALS are asking whether we'd recommend them to family and friends
From April, every NHS patient in England will be asked to give feedback on their stayGovernment hopes the move will improve standards
Patients will be able to vote online, by text or by post
15:26 GMT, 5 October 2012
Feedback: Departing hospital patients will be asked to rate their experience and whether they would recommend their ward
Hospital patients are to be asked whether they would
recommend their ward to friends and family, under new government guidance
From April next year, every patient in England attending
A&E or admitted to a ward will be able to give the customer service-style feedback.
Called the Friends and Family Test, the aim of the
initiative is to help hospitals to identify poor performance and encourage
staff to make improvements where services do not live up to patients'
Upon leaving hospital, patients will be asked: ‘How likely are you to recommend our ward/A&E department to
friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment’’
They will be given the choice of six options from ‘extremely
likely’ to ‘extremely unlikely’.
Follow-up questions will be asked where
The answers will be made public so that everyone has a clear
idea of which wards, A&E departments and hospitals are providing the best
THE FRIENDS AND FAMILY TEST QUESTIONS
How likely are you to recommend our ward to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment
How likely are you to recommend our A&E to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment
Neither likely nor unlikely
Patients will be able to register their feedback online, via text
messages, a smart phone app, telephone survey, postcard or ‘voting booth’ in
It is hoped that at least 15 per cent of patients from each NHS Trust will respond.
Day cases, maternity patients, outpatients, and those under 16 will not be asked to take part.
Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, said: ‘We want the NHS
to treat patients as individuals, focus on making services more responsive to
their needs and ensure they have as positive an experience of care as
‘Patients need to be listened to and their feedback acted
upon. They also need to know that their hospital of choice is driving
improvements to provide the very best care.
'Rolling out the Friends and Family
Test in the wards and A&E departments of every hospital will make this a
reality across the NHS.’
The questionnaire was trialled in hospitals across the Midlands this summer and was generally well received.
But the guidance has received a mixed response from Jocelyn Cornwell, who
works on patient experience at the King's Fund think-tank.
Discreet: Patients can provide feedback via text message, smartphone app, email, post or phone
She told The Times:
‘It's a very good thing to ask for patient feedback frequently. But there are
some problems with it. The guidance says that it will empower patients to
see themselves as customers and demand customer service.
'I think the language
of “'customer” is antithetical to how patients feel about themselves when they
are a patient… I don't think it will empower patients in any way because they don't choose
which A&E they go to and they don't choose their wards.’