NHS England publishes revisions to Staff Friends and Family Test

Nurses reading

28 / 2 / 2014 2.53pm

This guidance has been developed following discussions with NHS Employers, an advisory group of survey leads from trusts and listening to over 200 submissions to the original document.

NHS Employers believes the revised guidance provides a balanced approach to implementation of this policy and we will be working with NHS England to seek to support the effective implementation of the plans, which take effect from April.

NHS England has overall responsibility for the Staff FFT and its guidance provides extensive information on the background to the Staff FFT and how it should be implemented, including FAQs on key issues.

We have agreed to work with NHS England to support employers to make most effective use of the Staff FFT. A discussion on how to use the revised guidance is available on our staff engagement web pages.

Service and quality improvement

The Staff FFT is a potentially useful tool for service and quality improvement, providing regular data on staff views and an additional opportunity for them to give feedback. It also provides data on staff willingness to recommend their organisation as a place to work.

The revised guidance sets out minimum requirements for the operation of the Staff FFT as follows:

"A proportion of staff should have the opportunity to respond to Staff FFT in each of the three quarters, with all staff having the opportunity once per year, as a minimum requirement. Organisations may provide all staff with the opportunity to respond each quarter if they so wish."

This will run alongside the Staff Survey. It should provide organisations with the ability to choose an approach that suits their circumstances.

Effective implementation

NHS Employers welcomes this guidance and we will work with NHS England to help employers with effective implementation by sharing ideas and experiences.

Organisations will also need to make best use of data from free text boxes and trend data, and should continue to use a wide range of ways to collect staff feedback alongside the SFFT.

There are still complex issues, such as ensuring equalities and data protection principles are observed, however this has been a great example of effective collaboration in developing a new policy approach.

We welcome ongoing discussion on how best to present the results, for example whether this should be done in a Net Promoter Score format. Further information will be provided and a webinar organised over the next month. Queries on the guidance content should be directed to NHS England.

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