This brief guidance aims to provide GP practices with an outline of the requirements for the friends and family test (FFT) which has been a contractual requirement since December 2014.
From this date, patients must have the opportunity to submit feedback on the practice via the FFT. However, there is no requirement to submit any data to NHS England until February 2015.
Read the joint guidance on FFT from GPC and NHS Employers
There are a small number of mandatory requirements. Practices must:
- Provide an opportunity for people who use the practice to give anonymous feedback through the FFT
- Use the standard wording of the FFT question and the responses exactly - see table below for details
|How likely are you to recommend our GP practice to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?
|neither likely nor unlikely
- Include at least one follow up question of your choice which allows the opportunity to provide free text. While it is up to practices to choose the second question themselves, there must be a second question.
- Submit data to NHS England each month
- Publish results locally
The data is submitted through the Calculating Quality Reporting System (CQRS).
Practices are required to submit data to NHS England via CQRS relating only to the prescribed question. Data relating to the second, practice-chosen question should not be submitted.
Practice should submit:
- The total number of responses in each response category, added across each collection method, and
- The number of responses collected through each collection method.
Read technical guidance on how to enter and submit the data
The collection method is not prescribed, however it should not be limited in a way that would exclude patients from responding. For example, online responses only would likely mean that a significant portion of the practice population would not have the opportunity to respond.
Responses could be handwritten, by telephone call, tablet, text message, smartphone app or online, paper in the practice, or any other method that the practice and patients could find convenient.
Publication of the data
The monthly data submitted to NHS England is published on the NHS England website and on NHS Choices.
The NHS England web pages will include, for each GP practice:
- the number of responses in each response category (e.g. 'extremely likely', 'likely', 'neither likely nor unlikely' etc)
- the number of responses collected through each collection mode (e.g. handwritten, telephone call etc)
- the total percentage of 'extremely likely' plus 'likely' responses
- the practice list size, to set the number of responses in context
NHS Choices will publish the total percentage of extremely likely plus likely responses and the practice list size, although it is possible that this could be tweaked in the near future. The GPC will always update practices of any changes around the publication of data.
Practice must publish their response data locally. However there is no prescribed way for this to be done. This local publication can but does not have to, include data relating to the practice-chosen free text question.