Exploring the use of the Friends and Family Test in General Practice

Ipsos were commissioned by the Policy Innovation Research Unit (PIRU) based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to conduct qualitative case study interviews with GP practices about their experience of using the Friends and Family Test (FFT).

Exploring the use of the Friends and Family Test in General Practice

The author(s)

  • Harriet Fowler Research Manager
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The Department of Health commissioned PIRU to investigate whether and how the Friends and Family Test (FFT) contributes to the improvement of services in general practice. The two principal aims were to examine: how the collection of the FFT is arranged within general practice; and how the FFT quantitative and qualitative data are used by local staff for quality improvement, particularly within the wider context of other approaches to improvement that have been promoted within general practice within the past few years.

As part of this work Ipsos MORI was contracted by PIRU to carry out recruitment and fieldwork with 40 case study general practices to explore views, experiences and use of the Friends and Family Test.

Quotas were set to maximise variation on practice size, number of FFT responses, method of FFT collection, CQC Rating and rurality.

Within each practice, the target was to complete 3 semi-structured qualitative interviews: 1 with a clinician (GP or nurse); 1 with the practice manager (or another administrator who is aware of how the FFT is implemented by the practice); and 1 with a representative of the practice’s Patient Participation Group (PPG) (or someone from the local Healthwatch if a PPG interview was not possible). Ipsos MORI carried out interviews with general practices between 5th October and 13th November 2015.

A total of 42 practices were included in the final case study. Interviews were carried out with individuals face-to-face, although interviewing clinicians and practice managers together was permitted if the practice requested this, as were telephone interviews if circumstances required (e.g. due to short notice). In all but 2 of the 42 participating general practices, at least 2 interviews were carried out.

PIRU’s report ‘Implementation and the use of the Friends and Family Test as a tool for local service improvement in NHS general practice in England’ is available to view on their website.

The PIRU team have also written a blog about the results available on the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine website.

The author(s)

  • Harriet Fowler Research Manager

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