Friends and family test is making a difference

Patient feedback through the Friends and Family Test has not only helped North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust celebrate what it is doing well but also to make improvements.

friends-and-family-test-is-making-a-differenceThe test asks patients to rate how likely they are to recommend a ward or A&E and gives an opportunity to explain the rating.

The feedback – both positive and negative – has been used at the trust to improve the quality of patient care on a whole range of issues.

Recent feedback and improvements have included:

• The temperature of patient food. The trust’s catering quality assurance staff take on comments and carry out unannounced ward inspections to ensure improvements have been made
• Issues with ward furniture and equipment, such as bedside tables, chairs and bathroom shelving. The trust’s estates team work directly with the ward to make repairs quickly
• Delays with patients being discharged. The recent introduction of daily team huddles has improved communication and led to faster patient discharge
Barbara Carr, the trust’s associate director of nursing, quality and patient experience, said: “We review all the feedback and celebrate what we’re doing well and build on that or quickly identify any areas for improvement.

“It is a fantastic way for the trust to gain feedback from patients to make sure that we provide the best patient experience we possibly can.

“The Friends and Family Test is one of the ways we pick up these issues and deal with them as soon as they arise.”

Shirley Mealing, ward matron in women’s health at the University Hospital of North Tees, said: “When individual staff see their names highlighted in the word cloud or in the comments it can be very rewarding knowing that their efforts are very much appreciated.

“Comments are useful so staff can respond to issues locally very quickly. The good comments provide the staff with motivation and they feel proud of where they work.

“Displaying our Friends and Family Test results and word clouds on wards also show patients and visitors that we are listening to our patients. For patients and visitors it can be very reassuring to see how others have experienced the care on the ward.”

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