NHS England is launching a new scheme next week to increase the number of patients giving feedback through the Friends and Family Test (FFT).
As well as a five-day mini campaign (from 14 to 18 March) there will be promotional community activities – such as information stands in local supermarkets, posters in libraries, and local media advertising.
The FFT began being rolled out to most of the NHS three years ago, and GP practices were included in 2014, despite criticism of the scheme.
At the time critics questioned whether friends and family are proper judges of the NHS, since it is so complex.
Clare Gerada, chair of the council of the Royal College of GPs at the time stated: “The NHS isn’t Facebook, and healthcare isn’t a commodity like eating in a restaurant. And we must make sure that we don’t confuse issues around the NHS such as shortages, with the care that patients get from the staff that look after them.”
However, since the FFT began patients have given almost 17 million pieces of feedback – with more data due to be published this week – making it the biggest initiative in the world for listening to views on healthcare, NHS England said.
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