Patients rate city's hospitals highly in first NHS Friends and Family Test results

Patients have rated services and staff at Southampton’s teaching hospitals highly in the first Friends and Family Test (FFT) results released by NHS England.

More than 90% of patients who took part in the test at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust would be ‘extremely likely’ (74%) or ‘likely’ (20%) to recommend services at Southampton General and the Princess Anne hospitals to a family member of friend.

The FFT, which was launched in April, gives inpatients and people who have attended emergency departments the opportunity to state whether or not they would recommend the hospital to their friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment on a six-point scale ranging from 'extremely likely' to 'extremely unlikely'.

At UHS, staff have extended the test further to include additional questions on why patients selected their answer and if they would like to refer to a particular member of staff they feel had an impact – either positive or negative – on their hospital visit.

Each trust is given a score, known as the net promoter, which is the sum of the proportion of patients who would strongly recommend minus those who would not recommend or who are indifferent and rates organisations on a scale of -100 to +100, with UHS recording an overall score of 68 in quarter one against a national score of 63.

The Trust’s combined emergency department and inpatient response rate of 11.3% for the three-month period was below the 15% target set by NHS England, though the Trust’s rate for inpatients alone exceeded the target (16.4%).

Gail Byrne, director of quality at UHS, said: “We have much to reflect on positively from our results for April, May and June, which not only show we have increased participation in the test month-on-month following a slow start, but show the majority of our patients are positive about their experience at our hospitals and across the Trust.

“We are receiving excellent feedback about services and individuals and that is invaluable when it comes to assessing the range of factors that affect a patient’s experience with us and what constitutes the highest standards of care.”

Ms Byrne added: “The test also gives us a chance to find out very quickly and simply what patients aren’t happy with and what has caused them to feel that way so we can take action and make necessary improvements.

“This initial release of data also brings the subject to the forefront for the first time since the launch of the test back in April, so we want to take it as an opportunity to encourage more patients to take up the opportunity of feeding back their experiences and help us as we look to develop our services further.”

Patients can leave feedback via a range of methods, including an online survey, via bedside media units, filling out a postcard or by talking to ward volunteers.

Posted on Tuesday 30 July 2013