Leading doctors and pharmacists throughout Shropshire will call on diabetic patients across the region to help shape the future of their own care this month when they roll out a questionnaire asking if they would recommend the service they use to their friends or family.
The extension to the Friends and Family Test – already in use in A&E departments and maternity and inpatient wards throughout the country – is sponsored by NHS England and aims to provide more detailed information about patient experiences and to add value to existing services.
Stitchley-based GP and Chair of Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Dr Mike Innes, said:
Since the NHS started using the Friends and Families Test last year, more than 1 million people have responded, giving patients a real opportunity to offer feedback on the care they have received.
By extending the use of the survey to diabetes patients – and in the future other patients managing long term conditions – we can give a voice to those receiving care for their condition locally and use that to ensure those services meet their needs now and in the future.
Dr Innes said the pilot would have a particular emphasis on services offered during child to adult transition and would be used to test methods of collection currently used to carry out the Friends and Family Test and help to streamline the number of requests for feedback per patient, especially those that are regular users of the service.
“We will have the opportunity to ask supplementary questions to the standard Friends and Family Test where it is appropriate, and without adding any burden to the workload for GP Practices or other providers other than to hand leaflets to patients,” he said.
“This will all help us to paint a more comprehensive picture of what it feels like to be a diabetic patient in Telford and Wrekin, what works, what doesn’t and what needs to change in the future to provide our population with the best care we possibly can.”
Patients who agree to participate will have the opportunity to feedback to the survey by phone or via an online form, with the information collated relayed to the organisations currently providing the service and being used to develop stronger networks of providers in the area in the future.