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Poll: Lack of support for Friends and Family Test


Two-thirds of Nursing Times readers who answered a snap poll last week do not think the Friends and Family Test is a useful measure of patient experience.

In our online Poll of the Week 34% answered “yes”, when asked whether they thought the rest was beneficial, but 66% answered “no”.

Our question follows findings the publication by the government of the first set of results from the new Friends and Family Test on 30 July.

The test covered around 4,500 NHS wards and 144 A&E services, and is intended to allow hospital trusts to gain real time feedback on their services down to individual ward level.

Most patients who took part in the test said they would recommend accident and emergency, and inpatient wards to their relatives but response rates varied significantly.

Nursing Times polls readers each week on a topical question related to nursing in the news. Check to answer the current question:



Readers' comments (6)

  • Ford

    Yet another piece of nonsense !

    The TOTAL "poll" amounted to less than 40 "votes" !

    Conversion of such small numbers to % means nothing ------the sample is so small that it is totally unrepresentative any part of the population or readership !

    Please stop publishing this rubbish!

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  • michael stone

    An F&F test would be useful, if its methodology made it reliable (apparently, judging from comments by nurses on NT, it can currently 'be fiddled'; for example, by 'pushing it at patients you know are satisfied') and if it allowed for narrative and detailed feedback - 'I would not recommend this ward because ...' or 'The nurses were great, because ...'.

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  • tinkerbell

    My husband had a day op today at our main hospital. Everyone from the anaesthetist, surgeon, staff nurse, HCA were pleasant, cheerful and polite. The staff on the discharge unit were equally pleasant. The 'thank you' cards lining the wall of the pre op ward displayed what friends, family, patients thought of the service they had received. I observed watched and listened in as best I could to all that was going on around me (like the right old nosey parker that I am as a nurse). We were kept informed of when my husbands op could be expected. The atmosphere was calm and made me feel more confident about the whole situation.

    Good culture, pleasant staff, calm atmosphere. I observed seemingly enough staff to deal with their patients on an individual level and spend time talking with them to relieve their anxieties, answer questions and the doctors taking time to explain their procedures. Everything seemed very efficient.

    Yet other wards within this same hospital get a real slating and they are mostly the elderly wards, not all, but some, and when I have visited a patient on my case load there since being in the community, have felt like war zones, not enough staff, stressed out staff, everyone rushed of their feet staff, not many smiling staff, too busy to talk to you staff, beaten down staff.

    I know what it is like to work on elderly, having spent the last 8 years working in dementia, you hit the ground running from the moment you come on duty until you leave because you have 'just enough' staff if that. We had a good team overall and managed to keep our atmosphere as pleasant as possible. If we ever had overbooked agency staff and had one too many we kept them, it made up for the many times when we had too few staff, no one ever called me to task about 'why' cos quite frankly they probably didn't know and I wasn't about to tell anyone. I very rarely sent an agency nurse home unless somehow we had become seriously over our numbers because then I would phone our other ward and ask them if they could have them and guess what they could.

    We tried not only to look after our patients but look after each other too. It was a culture thing.

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  • Where I work, I generally find that patients and their families are too polite to put in complaints or to fill in these friends and family cards honestly. So alas, I'd suggest that the whole F&F thing is a pointless, waste of time and is not presenting a true picture.

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  • It is because it is obviously lame, trite, populist nonsense that none of us care about. How can I recommend cancer care services to people.without cancer? Or obesity surgery? Or having an amputation. Utter crap.

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  • it belongs to those deciding on where to book their next holiday, go for their next meal, etc.

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