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Collecting feedback through friends and family tests (FFTs)

Being able to obtain and act on the feedback that patients and relatives leave our hospital is key to improving the overall quality of the services we provide at UHS. This can be done in many ways across the hospital, but the main way we receive feedback from all departments and wards is through our friends and family tests (FFTs).

When leaving hospital, either on the day of discharge or shortly afterwards, you will be invited to give feedback using the survey if you have opted in.

All the links to each FFT survey are displayed on our ‘Friends and Family Test (FFT)’ page to ensure that, even once you’ve left hospital, you can still provide your feedback.

About the FFT

The FFT is a nationally approved way of collecting and reviewing feedback from patients and relatives. The feedback that is received helps our hospital understand your experience, which then enables us to make any changes required to improve your overall care.

When completing the FFT, the main question you will be asked to respond to is “Overall, how was your experience of our service”, and you can pick any of the following answers:

  • Very good
  • Good
  • Neither good nor poor
  • Poor
  • Very poor
  • Don’t know

There will also be an option for you to add any comments about your care, such as anything that went particularly well or a specific improvement that you would like to see, or any staff you would like to recommend. All comments are regularly reviewed to ensure we act on as much as we can.

Nobody is required to give feedback and choosing not to will not affect the care you receive. However, if you do decide to share your experience, it will help to improve our services. You can provide feedback as regularly as you wish, including if you visit multiple clinics, departments or wards.

How we use your results and feedback

We review the results and feedback obtained from the FFT on a regular basis, helping us to learn more about the quality of the services we are providing and the overall experience of care. The results will be reviewed by the experience of care team who will collate all the results and look through the data and comments.

For the experiences that go well, we would like to hear these so we can keep doing more of the same and share more of these positive experiences. However, when things do go wrong, it is important that we hear about this too to ensure we can make changes to prevent it happening again.

Friends and family tests do not replace our existing patient advice and liaison service (PALS) for compliments, concerns or complaints. FFTs are anonymous, and therefore we will not be able to respond individually to any issues raised in the survey. If you have a concern or a complaint, it is important that you speak to a member of staff or contact the PALS team by emailing or calling 023 8120 6325 (Option 1).

How we publish and share the results

We will prove monthly updates on the data we have received in order to keep patients and community members as up to date as we can. This will be available on our website under the ‘Friends and Family Test (FFT)’ page and on our experience of care social media channels. The information will also be uploaded to the NHS England website.

Most of our clinical teams will monitor the surveys for feedback and comments they receive, but in the event they aren’t able to, this can be provided to them upon request. Due to the large number of comments we receive on a monthly basis, we will endeavour to provide staff members with their individual feedback but this may not be immediate. The NHS commits to being open and transparent, and we will provide information as regularly as we can. We will always look to ensure patients are given as much in-depth information about our services as we can.

The results obtained through the survey will be, where possible, displayed in clinics, departments and wards, along with a selection of comments from those who have agreed we can share these anonymously. Our FFT results are used alongside other feedback that we receive, and we will look at all the experiences shared with us to understand how we can better improve the overall patient experience at University Hospital Southampton.

How to contact us

If you have any queries about the FFT or you wish to find out more, you can contact the patient involvement team by emailing or calling 023 8120 1676.

If you require any of the information provided on this page, or a survey, in a different format or language, you can contact the patient support hub by emailing or calling 0800 484 0135 between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).