Service user feedback helps to shape Friends and Family test at Calderstones

calderstones-partnership-logo copyCalderstones Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has recently restyled their “Friends and Family” test, with help from services users and Healthwatch Lancashire.    

A working group looked at the way the current Friends and Family test questions are written, and how they could be changed and improved for service users at Calderstones. Service users were encouraged to develop their own questions to be used as part of the Friends and Family Test for Calderstones.

Funded by NHS England, service users revised all the questions and added video to ensure the questions were appropriate to people who are detained, and to make it feel less like a test.

Amanda Higgins, Project Officer at Healthwatch Lancashire, supported the Calderstones Involvement Group by providing intelligence, which has been captured by listening to service users at Calderstones. The valuable input from service users has been used to develop the questionnaire to best suit service users.

Project Officer, Amanda Higgins, outside the Herbstones Restaurant at Calderstones

Project Officer, Amanda Higgins, outside the Herbstones Restaurant at Calderstones

Service users were also given the opportunity to ask Calderstones Partnership NHS Foundation Trust staff why it is important to listen to service users, what happens to the feedback, and what difference does it make.

The new Friends and Family Test Questionnaire was held up as an innovative project at the “NHS England Improving Patients Experience of Care” event in March 2016.

Service users and staff delivered a hugely well-regarded demonstration of their redesign. They spoke in detail at the conference, giving a presentation and getting spontaneous applause.  Head of CRT Health, Lisa Elliott said: “Well done to everyone at Calderstones. We heard your presentation of ‘restyled FFT’.” Lisa added on Twitter that it was “WOW’d and got spontaneous applause.”  Trust staff thanked Healthwatch Lancashire for their support and assistance during the project.

Sheralee Turner-Birchall, Chief Officer at Healthwatch Lancashire, said “This project is an excellent example of how feedback from service users, relatives and carers can be used to influence service improvement and improve the lives of people in Lancashire.”

The Trust’s Board of Directors were delighted to hear of the work done to improve accessibility and experiences for service users.  They noted that it followed Calderstones highly positive CQC assessment as another indicator of the progress of the organisation as it undergoes major organisational change this year.

You can watch a video about the Friends and Family test at Calderstones by clicking here.