Frenchay recognised in national awards.
02 February 2017

Frenchay recognised in national awards

Frenchay Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre was selected as a finalist in a national awards scheme about the way patient and staff feedback is used to improve healthcare services.

The Friends and Family Test is a way to find out from patients, quickly and anonymously, how they rate their latest experience of NHS care or treatment. They can provide comments to explain their score and this feedback helps services to focus on areas that need improvement.

As most feedback is positive, the FFT also provides a well-deserved pat on the back from hard-working NHS staff. The Frenchay Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre has been consistently rated as ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to be recommended by their patient group.

The FFT Awards 2016 were set up to recognise NHS providers who are going the extra mile in their work to listen to patients and staff. There are five categories and Frenchay Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre has made the shortlist for the Best FFT Accessibility Initiative category.

The entry describes how the Speech and Language Therapy team (Gerry Roxburgh, Katarina Fraser and Che Ming Leung) set out to devise a more accessible format for FFT+5 for individuals with complex and profound communication impairment. The format is based on a Total Communication approach and enables service users who are non-verbal, and/or unable to generate ideas, to give an opinion. In addition, because the information is presented visually and verbally, service users with impaired memory, attention and other cognitive difficulties are fully supported to access the tool. From a staff perspective the format has illustrated the real difficulties administering and interpreting the information given by individuals who have lack of insight into their difficulties. For example, one patient reported he would not recommend the Centre but that all the staff were ‘great’. He was happy with most aspects of his stay, particularly care; but his overwhelming desire to leave meant he would not recommend the Centre. Without the tool, the centre might not have known this

Gerry Roxburgh, Lead Speech and Language Therapist, says: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the awards and we are pleased that our attempts to support service users’ to discuss their experience have been recognised.”

Almost 200 entries were received by NHS England. Anu Singh, Director of, said: “We have rolled out the FFT across most NHS services and we wanted to take stock of how it’s working and what benefits it is actually bringing for patients.

“Through entries to the awards, we have found a rich seam of information about a whole range of improvements, great and small, that make a real difference to how patients feel about their contact with the NHS. It is really rewarding to see the high level of appreciation that patients show for staff and to see how well many healthcare providers are listening to their patients and trying to continuously improve services. NHS trusts also conduct a similar feedback scheme for their staff and that too is making a real difference.”

The winners were announced at a national feedback and insight conference, organised by NHS England, on 17 March 2016 .

To learn more about the Friends and Family Test, go to