Text messaging pilot

The trust is rolling out the Friends and Family test even further from October 2014 to include all outpatients and patients who have had a day case procedure.

For the first time, patients receiving treatment in these two areas will also have the opportunity to feedback on their care by text or by responding to an automated telephone call to their home phone as part of a pilot scheme.

Under the initiative, they will be contacted within 48 hours of their outpatient appointment or day case procedure and asked ‘How likely are you to recommend our service to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?’ They will then be given six options ranging from ‘extremely likely’ to ‘extremely unlikely’.

Acting patient experience manager Karen Harwood said: “We want to create a culture where patients expect to be given the opportunity to give feedback so we can act on any concerns raised and equally share with staff what we’re doing well.

“With the ‘friends and family’ test we’ve traditionally asked people to fill in a short questionnaire and this will continue. However as it is now being rolled out to outpatient and day case areas we thought this was a good opportunity to pilot a text messaging service which we know has worked well in other hospitals.”

The text messaging/automated call service is free of charge and anonymous but patients can opt out of taking part by informing a member of staff who will pass their details onto the trust’s patient experience team or by responding to the initial text with STOP.

The Friends and Family test is already open to anyone:

  • aged over 16 who has stayed at least one night in The James Cook University Hospital, the Friarage Hospital or our community hospitals as an inpatient
  • any adult who has attended accident and emergency and left without being admitted to the hospital
  • women receiving maternity services