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GP friends and family test responses 87% positive after restart

by Caitlin Tilley
12 September 2022

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Almost nine in ten (87%) GP patient responses to the restarted ‘friends and family test’ (FFT) were positive.

1,593 GP practices submitted a total of 164,595 patient responses for July 2022. 

GP practices were told to resume the FFT from 1 April 2022.

NHS England had previously suspended the tests for GP practices in March 2020 to free up GPs for the Covid-19 effort.

However, when the restart was announced, NHS England said it realised it would take practices time to get back into submitting their FFT returns, and so ‘commissioners should not be expecting FFT data to be submitted until Q2 in 22/23 onwards’.

The FFT is an anonymous survey asking people: ‘Overall, how was your experience of our service?’

Patients must rate their experience on a scale of very good; good; neither good nor poor; poor; very poor; don’t know.

When it was first announced in 2013, the test was criticised by healthcare experts for asking the wrong question.

In 2019, NHS England said it was changing the test’s key question to make it clearer and more accessible.

List validation was also paused in April 2020 to free up time for practices to focus on Covid, but was reintroduced from October in the same year.

It was also temporarily paused during the Covid booster vaccination drive.

A version of this story was initially published on our sister title Pulse.