Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Friends and family test should no longer be mandatory

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 29 January 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k367

Rapid Response:

Re: Friends and family test should no longer be mandatory

This is a well written, considered and evidence based editorial and I agree with many of the views expressed by the authors.

FFT alone, at best, is a measure of patient satisfaction and if you really unpick the question, cognitive interpretation of FFT and the statistical validity of the responses, it is also questionable whether is measures satisfaction very well either.

Bristol Community Health CIC is committed to understanding the experience of patients, underpinned by our Patient and Public Empowerment strategy. In order to do this,we have designed a patient experience survey programme, supporting by a real-time feedback system, with questions aligned to Picker's principles of person centred care. FFT is asked as the first question but is the least meaningful.

Our programme allows us to understand accessibility, of how well we provide clear and concise information to patients and families, of how well we involve patients in decisions about their care. It also allows us to develop our approach in shared decision making, how we are we supporting patients to feel confident to manage their health and what more can we do?

This is supplemented by focus group work, community outreach and patient stories.

FFT is burdensome and offers little in the way of insight. It is also still used, in my view inappropriately, in the NHS standard contract with a relentless focus on response rates, rather than what should be the case - doing something with the data we collect.

Competing interests: No competing interests

31 January 2018
Matthew Areskog
Head of Patient Experience, Bristol Community Health
South Plaza, Bristol