FRIENDS AND FAMILY TEST PLUS – Transforming InHealth’s patient experience programme

InHealth is the UK’s largest specialist provider of diagnostic and healthcare solutions, with more than 300 locations across the UK, working predominantly with the NHS through hospitals, clinics and mobile trailers serving over 2 million patients annually.

“Our patients are what the company is all about and so we want to know as much as we can about the patient experience, by asking them directly”

– Duncan Ivory, Transformation Programme Manager at InHealth.

Like all healthcare providers to the NHS, InHealth had implemented the Friends and Family Test (FFT)[1] to track their patient experiences. However, as many organisations have found, the FFT does not provide targeted or specific detail that means it becomes difficult to identify near real time individual patient experience insight needed to drive improvement

With their commitment to service quality, InHealth sought out Cemplicity to redesign their patient experience programme so that it could drive accurate measurement and real direction on opportunities for improvement.

Key to this redesign was to try to capture feedback from every patient, to ensure this was delivered in real-time to frontline staff across InHealth and to expand the questions asked of patients so that their care experience could be precisely understood.

“With Cemplicity we ask a much wider range of questions across all the aspects of our service that matter to our patients. The ratings are always interesting, but allowing patients to all tell their stories is providing fantastic insight. We’ve been calling the survey FFT+ as it still asks the Friends and Family question, but is so much more.”

Despite the longer survey, InHealth have seen their response rates increase to a 30% response rate (of those who opt in to the survey), which is consistent with evidence that in the health sector, longer surveys do not impact on response rates.

“One of the great things about how Cemplicity implement these programmes is that a lot more people take part. This means we can drill down to individual teams and units and still have enough data to know the feedback is reliable.”

Cemplicity’s dynamic approach to the implementation of its survey and reporting tools gives patients the choice to have their contact details released to InHealth staff. With the patients’ permission, staff can then review the feedback alongside clinical information, within the Cemplicity reporting portal, making responses much more actionable. The real-time nature of the programme is particularly important when patients have negative feedback as things can be resolved before they escalate and before other patients might be impacted by an issue that needs quick resolution.

InHealth know the importance of listening to patient feedback and the compelling evidence that proves how patient outcomes, staff engagement and organisation efficiency are all enhanced when patient experiences are excellent. It’s early days for the Cemplicity programme but InHealth has already been able to use patient feedback to make improvements. For example, patients highlighted that the cleanliness of one clinic needed improvement. Using the comments consistently raised by patients, InHealth worked with building management to improve the cleanliness at the site. The impact of this project was immediately measurable, with patients at this facility now not mentioning cleanliness as an issue.

After survey completion, data is available to InHealth users in real-time as dashboard views and trend charts that collate and track feedback. Individual clinicians, teams and practices can use these dashboards to make comparisons between past and current performance and as a point of reference for continual improvement.

Creating a culture of continuous improvement comes from a team who are motivated. Before the introduction of FFT+, staff were recognised through nominations from team members but now great performance from staff is also acknowledged by this direct feedback from patients.

“It’s been very uplifting for our staff, it enables them to be nominated for the award by the people who really count – the patients”.

Using a digital programme has also removed the administrative burden associated with the paper surveys. Cemplicity integrates into existing systems and will automatically send invitations to patients following their appointment and allow staff to view data in a simple to use, in-depth reporting platform.

“The depth of knowledge has been the big winner, but also the time previously spent by staff asking patients to give feedback and building reports has been greatly reduced “.

By collaborating with Cemplicity, InHealth can continue to build on their strong reputation for providing patients with rapid and accurate diagnostic results. Together they have built a digital feedback platform that gives patients a voice and allows InHealth to continue to provide a consistently safe, effective, responsive and caring service.


[1] The FFT is a simple question that asks patients, on a scale of 1-5, how likely they would be to recommend the service they’ve just received to their friends or family.