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Patients to be asked whether they would recommend the RD&E


From the beginning of February, 2013 the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust has been asking adult in-patients, patients attending the Emergency Department, not being admitted and all Maternity patients whether they’d recommend the Trust to friends or family in need of similar care. This is known as the Friends and Family Test and was introduced by the Government across the whole of the NHS from 1 April 2013.


Mrs Em Wilkinson-Brice, Chief Nurse and Executive Director of Service Delivery, commented:


“If you’ve ever recommended a restaurant to a friend, or written a review on Tripadvisor, you’ll know that personal recommendation is one of the best indicators of customer satisfaction.


“This new test does not replace any of our existing and more detailed monitoring of patient opinion. It’s an extra measure that’s meant to give us a very quick snapshot of how our patients view the care they received with us. Every Trust in the country is asking exactly the same questions and results will be published nationally on 30 July 2013. The aim is for hospitals to be able to identify and celebrate what’s working well, as well as picking up and resolving potential problems.”


The new test was based on a recommendation by the Nursing and Care Quality Forum, and announced by the government in May 2012. When he launched the service, David Cameron said: “in every hospital, patients are going to be able to answer a simple question: whether they’d want a friend of relative to be treated there in their hour of need.”


From February 2013, patients attending the RD&E’s Emergency Department, all Maternity patients or adult patients being discharged home from hospital will receive a freepost postcard with a tick-box survey to complete and return in the box provided or once they get home. No personal data is requested and responses are completely anonymous. From September 2013 all patients attending the Emergency Department will receive a token and be asked to place it into one of the boxes provided to register their response to the Friends and Family Test question. Patient feedback comment cards will also be available for patients to add a general comment on their care.

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