- Posted Monday November 17, 2014
I sometimes wonder where the government/NHS gets their ideas from.
I have always felt that the Friends and Family Test (FFT) was a waste of time and money. Please correct me if I am wrong or have missed the whole point of it, but it has now - in my eyes - become farcical.
The idea behind FFT is to ask the patient whether they are happy with their surgery, and would they recommend it to a friend. However, surely most people would change doctors if they were not happy. So what actually is the benefit of the exercise?
At my practice we have decided to implement the Friends and Family Test by printing out small cards with the questions on, handing them out at reception and in consulting rooms. We’re also putting it on the website and have posters up in the waiting room. All these methods are simple, effective, and not too costly.
While people will initially fill in the forms - like everything else - not many will be filled in and we will struggle. I have been assured that if we only get one result, and that is positive, we will have 100% recommendation. So is it worth the effort for an unrepresentative result?
I am sure, like us, you have been bombarded with companies offering to take the whole thing off your hands and for a fee of anything up to £90 per month. I cannot see anyone taking up such an offer, but maybe I have it wrong - please do explain why you would do this if you do plan on paying for your Friends and Family Test?
There is, however, the opportunity to add a bespoke Friends and Family Test for free if you use My Surgery Website (MSW) - which my practice does.
So why do I feel angered and bemused by the whole thing?
This week we also received an email from our CCG. This CCG, like every other one in the country, is struggling with budgets and constantly telling us they have no money and costs must be cut.
However, in the email they say that they are going to fund tablets (electrical version) for every surgery in the locality up to March 2016.
They will come to each surgery to fit a tablet, ensure there is a working Wi-Fi connection, provide two training sessions and cover it for damage and theft - all for FREE.
That will be an expenditure of somewhere in the region of £30,000 for all surgeries in our locality.
There is no mention of how people may want to do this from home, or at a later date from the appointment though.
Is that money well spent by the CCG? I will leave you to ponder this question. If other CCGs across the country are going to do this, just think of the expenditure.
It is always easy to spend other people’s money, but this is just gross wastage in my view and I hope that the CCG decide to use this money in a more constructive way instead.