Friends & Family Test

What is the Friends and Family Test?

We want to ensure you have the best possible experience of care. The Friends and Family Test is a way of gathering your feedback about this experience and helping to drive improvement in hospital services.


When you receive care as an inpatient, attend our Emergency Department or outpatients or are being looked after by our Maternity team you should be given the opportunity to give your feedback by answering a simple question about your experience.


The results will provide a way for you to easily compare NHS hospitals so that you know where you and your family can get the best possible care.


The information will also give the NHS invaluable information on what patients think of services, which can be used to help make improvements if required.


How will it work?

When you are discharged, or within the 48 hours that follow, you will be asked to answer the following question:

“How likely are you to recommend our ward/A&E department to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?”


The question will have multiple choice options ranging from ‘extremely likely’ to ‘extremely unlikely’.  You will also have the opportunity to explain why you gave a particular score, so we can use the information collected to make improvements or celebrate successes.   The question is quick and easy to answer, and is similar to those used in other industries, and will enable hospitals to compare themselves and learn from the best.


Our staff will give you a postcard at discharge or when you are leaving the Emergency Department and ideally these should be completed and posted in the special boxes which are displayed throughout the organisation when you are leaving.


Your answer will not be traced back to you, and your details will not be passed on to anyone, so please tell us exactly what you think. A member of your family or a friend is welcome to help you give your feedback to the question if you are unable to.


Do you have to respond to the question?

You do not have to respond to the question. But if you do, your feedback will provide valuable information for your hospital to help ensure its patients have the best possible experience of care.


We are very keen to hear from you so we know what you think of the care or treatment you have received – whether your feedback is positive, negative or indifferent.


How will the results be used?

The Trust’s responses will be gathered and analysed to see if any action is required. The results will be published and you will also be able to see results for other hospitals to see how we compare.


Where will the results be published?

The results will be published on the NHS Choices website and also on the NHS England website where you will be able to compare results from all hospitals in the country.


Does this replace the existing compliments or complaints procedure, or other forms of feedback used by the hospital?

No, you can still pass your compliments or complaints to us  in the normal way.  The Friends and Family Test is another way of gathering feedback.


Where can I get more information?

For more information on the Friends and Family Test, please visit or read the attached information leaflet:

Friends and Family Test – Patient Leaflet

Family and Friends Test – Easy Read Leaflet

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If you do have any concerns and would like to discuss issues with a member of staff from the Help and Advice Service, please visit the Help and Advice Service office on B Floor next to the main lifts at Sunderland Royal Hospital, or telephone on 0800 587 6513 (freephone) or email at