FAQs on the FTT

Written by Jennifer Pell

From 1st December the Friends & Family Test (FFT) becomes a contractual requirement for GP Practices. The BMA, NHS England & NHS Employers have come together and published useful leaflets & FAQs to help Practices implement the new scheme as smoothly as possible – but what are the key points to take away?

There are a small number of requirements that Practices must follow:

  • use the standard wording of the FFT question and the responses,
  • include at least one follow up question which allows patients to provide free text,
  • submit data, in the format required, to NHS England each month,
  • publish the results for the FFT question locally.

Here at Silicon Practice we’ve been addressing a few key questions to help Practices prepare:

What additional questions should I ask?

Depending on your needs, how actively you will be engaging with the survey results, and whether you’ll be running a general patient survey, the additional questions you could ask may vary.

If you’d like generic feedback on your services you could ask questions like “If you could change one thing about our services what would it be and why?”, which are particularly good to discover any areas of improvement. However, if you’d like to receive feedback on a particular service you could ask questions like “What are your views on our online services?” or “How did you find our appointment booking service?”

In addition to a free text question, NHS England has also recommended that Practices ask demographic questions about age, sex and ethnicity to help determine whether any groups have been underrepresented by the results.

How do I organise my data?

According to NHS guidance Practices must collate their data by clearly showing the results of the FFT question and the number of responses collected using different methods. Only the results of the FFT question will need to be submitted to NHS England and the Practice can publish additional comments supplied by patients on their website if the patients have given consent.

The NHS is currently investigating how practices can submit their results to NHS England and further confirmation is due to be published soon.

How have others been promoting the FFT on their website?

Over the last couple of months Practices across the country have been promoting the FFT on their website’s home page. Carlton House Surgery and Red House Surgery are just a few who have asked their Website Editor’s to create new home page panels to promote the FFT and patients are already completing the survey.

The NHS has also released new videos and leaflets which can be added to practice websites to help explain the FFT to patients.