From April 2015 the NHS Friends and Family Test feedback is being extended to include persons under the age of 16.  We have produced feedback cards specifically designed to allow children and young people the opportunity to rate and comment on their experience of the NHS service they have used.

These cards are being rolled out and used by our NHS partners.

The Friends and Family Test (FFT) aims to provide a simple headline metric which, when combined with follow-up questions, is a tool to ensure transparency, celebrate success and galvanise improved patient experience.

Since April 2013, the FFT question has been asked in all NHS Inpatient and A&E departments across England and, from October 2013, all providers of NHS funded maternity services have also been asking women the same question at different points throughout their care.

NHS England is introducing the Friends and Family Test to the remaining NHS funded services late 2014 and early 2015.

Our patient experience solutions come with the following as standard:

* Low cost set up - Unlimited number of services / wards.

* Real time feedback and formatted reports to download.

* ‘Word Cloud’ - Real time identification of common themes from  respondent comments.

* Wide range of data collection as standard - Paper based, online, telephone, QR codes, and text messages to name but a few.

* Quick to implement, flexible to amend when required.

* Enhanced reports for your Trust - Produced at monthly, quarterly, or other agreed periods.

* Dedicated patient experience account manager.
We also offer a full design and print service for your patient experience questionnaires and Friends and Family Test cards, options for data collection from non-English speaking patients, and the production of ‘easy read’  questionnaires.

Contact us for a free personalised proposal for your Trust.

Backing up of your computer data is essential to protect against losses, be them hard disk failure or theft.

There's a debate about the best kind of backup, but storing your data offsite and online is a good option.

Although at one time offsite backup was niche and often expensive, the cloud has brought about a revolution in inexpensive storage, making backing up online inexpensive and fuss-free.

There are many companies offering cloud back up, giving consumers a wide choice. Most people will look at the amount of storage available to them and the annual cost of this storage. However, if you are a business user, there are 2 other essential pieces of information you need to check:

1.    Security of back up data – what arrangements are in place for the security of your back up data?  This should be detailed on the cloud company website.

2.    Does storage comply with section 8 of the data protection act (UK)  as follows:

And not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area, unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data’.

 Please visit the Information Commissioners Office website and search for ‘cloud computing’ for further information and guidance.

Improving patient experience is a key aim for the NHS. Patient experience means putting the patient and their experience at the heart of quality improvement.

By asking, monitoring, and acting upon patient feedback, organisations are able to make improvements in the areas that patients say matter most to them.

Over the past few years, several documents and initiatives have highlighted the importance of the patient's experience and the need to focus on improving these experiences where possible. For example, Lord Darzi's report, high quality care for all (2008) highlighted the importance of the entire patient experience within the NHS, ensuring people are treated with compassion, dignity and respect within a clean, safe and well-managed environment.

In trying to create a NHS cultural shift' towards a truly patient-centred service, The NICE Quality Standard 15 (Quality standard for patient experience in adult NHS services ) has identified a number of generic patient experiences relevant to people who use adult NHS services in England and Wales.

1 Patients are treated with dignity, kindness, compassion, courtesy, respect, understanding and honesty.

2 Patients experience effective interactions with staff who have demonstrated competency in relevant communication skills.

3 Patients are introduced to all healthcare professionals involved in their care, and are made aware of the roles and responsibilities of the members of the healthcare team.

4 Patients have opportunities to discuss their health beliefs, concerns and preferences to inform their individualised care.

5 Patients are supported by healthcare professionals to understand relevant treatment options, including benefits, risks and potential consequences.

6 Patients are actively involved in shared decision making and supported by healthcare professionals to make fully informed choices about investigations, treatment and care that reflect what is important to them.

7 Patients are made aware that they have the right to choose, accept or decline treatment and these decisions are respected and supported.

8 Patients are made aware that they can ask for a second opinion.

9 Patients experience care that is tailored to their needs and personal preferences, taking into account their circumstances, their ability to access services and their coexisting conditions.

10 Patients have their physical and psychological needs regularly assessed and addressed, including nutrition, hydration, pain relief, personal hygiene and anxiety.

11 Patients experience continuity of care delivered, whenever possible, by the same healthcare professional or team throughout a single episode of care.

12 Patients experience coordinated care with clear and accurate information exchange between relevant health and social care professionals.

13 Patients' preferences for sharing information with their partner, family members and/or carers are established, respected and reviewed throughout their care.

14 Patients are made aware of who to contact, how to contact them and when to make contact about their ongoing healthcare needs.

Collecting Patient Experience Feedback

Trusts developing a patient experience programme should apply the Relevance, Time, Deployment approach in order to maximise response rates and achieve meaningful feedback data.

RELEVANCE: Are all questions in your survey relevant to the patient experience for the service you wish to obtain feedback for?

TIME:  The survey should be designed so that respondents can easily understand the questions, enabling them to answer each question quickly without a great deal of thought.  For general feedback, the questionnaire should be short in length enabling the user to complete within a couple of minutes.

DEPLOYMENT:  Recommendation 255 from the recent Francis Enquiry publication into Stafford Hospital, recommends the real time publication of patient experience data where possible.  With the development of technology, feedback data can be collected and reported in real time using touchscreens, tablets, mobile phones and online surveys.  These methods are inexpensive to deploy and ideal to collect continuous or large numbers of responses. 

However, paper-based and telephone surveys still have a very important place to play in the capture  of patient experience feedback.    

People may not have internet access and may not wish to complete the feedback in presence of the healthcare professional they have just met, in such cases, paper-based or telephone feedback is the most appropriate method. Additionally, telephone feedback is an excellent resource to ensure accuracy of the feedback, to obtain qualitative responses and to further explore respondent comments. 

Direct Data Analysis offer a full patient experience feedback service.  Please visit our website for further information, or contact us to discuss your requirements and obtain a free written quotation. 

Mini poll shows that over 50% of respondents would use a Community Pharmacy to test and manage their blood pressure.

In a recent mini poll undertaken by Direct Data Analysis, 52% of respondents stated that they would use a Community Pharmacy to test and manage their blood pressure. 

In the poll, 27% of respondents stated they wound not use a Community Pharmacy for the service, whilst 21% did not know if they would use a Community Pharmacy to test and manage their blood pressure.  
Over recent years, Community Pharmacies have been given the opportunity to provide a range of diagnostic and management services to assist patients and save the need for a visit to their GP.  However, previous work has shown that a number of people are still unaware that they can use a Community Pharmacy to discuss and manage certain conditions without the need for a visit to their GP. Additionally, previous work has shown that a number of people have concerns over privacy issues around discussing their condition in their local Community Pharmacy. 

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, Direct Data Analysis Ltd cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated, opinions expressed herein are those of the author of the page and do not necessarily represent the views of the NHS.

Data Security


Have you ever stopped to think what might hapen if your computer was stolen, or it's data accessed by unauthorised persons?

The Information Commissioner's Office website provides some useful tips, as follows:

• For a good source of advice in plain English on security go to the government and business sponsored website

• For computer security:

• Install a firewall and virus checking on your computers.

• Consider upgrading your operating system

• Protect your computer by downloading the latest patches or security updates, which should cover vulnerabilities

• Only allow your staff access to the information they need to do their job and don’t let them share passwords

• Encrypt any personal information held electronically if it will cause damage or distress if it is lost or stolen

• Take regular back ups of the information on your computer system and keep them in a separate place so that if you lose your computers, you don’t lose the information

• Don’t dispose of old computers until all the personal information on them has been securely removed (by using technology or destroying the hard disk)

• Consider installing anti-spyware. This protects against software that can be secretly installed on your computers. It can monitor use, look for private information or even give someone else control of your computer.    


Do not open an attachment unless you trust the source.

■ Do you know the person who is sending you this file? If not, don’t open it. E-mail addresses can be “spoofed” – the “from” address can be faked.

■ Once the message is open does the content match the sender? If not, send it back and ask for clarification. 

■ Does it make sense that they are sending it to you? If not, send it back and ask for clarification.

■ Microsoft NEVER sends operating system patches as e-mail attachments. They will ask you to visit the Microsoft Web site to download any software. 
Sending Personal Information

E-mail is not secure. Think of it as sending a postcard written in pencil. As the card is delivered it makes numerous stops and can be altered or read by various people. Personal information should never be sent via e-mail – ssn, credit card, name, phone, address, and date of birth in combination. Don’t send anything you wouldn’t want on a billboard.


“Phishing is a scam where the perpetrator sends out legitimate-looking e-mails appearing to come from some of the Web's biggest sites, including eBay, PayPal, MSN, Yahoo, BestBuy, and America Online, in an effort to phish (pronounced "fish") for personal and financial information from the recipient.”

Examples would be a message from your bank that asks you to update your account information. You click on the link, the legitimate bank site opens, then a page opens up on top asking you for your account info. This info page DOES NOT belong to the legitimate site. If you fill out your personal information and submit it, the info will go to the “phisher” to be sold or used to steal your identity.

In a recent poll, just 1% of respondents stated that spending the estimated 32 billion on HS2 Rail was one of their top three preferred areas for spending of tax payers money.

In a recent poll undertaken by Direct Data Analysis, 101 respondents were asked to select their top 3 areas where they would prefer the Government to spent the 32 billion pounds, which is the estimated cost of the new HS2 rail line. 

In the poll, 73% of respondents stated spending the money on the NHS as one of their 3 preferred areas, followed by Care of the Elderly (54%) and Schools (40%).  Just 1% of respondents stated that spending the money on HS2 was one of their 3 preferred areas for spending of the money. 
Notes on the poll:
The poll was conducted online 29th and 30th January 2013, with 101 respondents selecting their 3 preferred areas  for spending of 32 billion pounds, from a given list of causes. 

Sex of respondents:  34% of respondents were male, 66% were female.   

Ageband of respondents: 18- 34: 23%,  35-54: 53%,  55+: 24%. 

According to recent NHS data looking at smoking quit rates for various social economic groups, full time students are the least successful when it comes to quitting smoking in England.

Data collected for the NHS shows that 34.8% of full time students successfully quit smoking at a 4 week follow up period after setting their quit date.  This compares to the national average of 47.9% who successfully quit smoking.  

The most successful groups when it came to quitting smoking were the retired and those in managerial or professional positions, where 56.2% had successfully quit smoking at a 4 week follow up from setting their quit date.   
Direct Data Analysis Quit Smoking Survey
The quit smoking success rate for the various social economic groups are as follows:
  • Full time students 34.8%
  • Never worked or unemployed for over 1 year 37.8%
  • Sick/disabled and unable to return to work 41.7%
  • Unable to code 43.8%
  • Home carers (unpaid) 43.9%
  • Routine and manual occupations 51.0%
  • Intermediate occupations 53.0%
  • Prisoners 54.3%
  • Managerial and professional occupations 56.2%
  • Retired 56.2%

Data was collected on 552,602 people in England who had set a quit smoking date between April and December 2011.  Of those persons, 264,795 (47.9) had successfully quit smoking at the 4 week follow up period.

Data for the persons setting quit dates and smoking quit rates was collected from Local NHS Trusts by the NHS Information Centre.  
Source: The NHS Information Centre: Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services: England, April 2011 to December 2011 (Q3 - Quarterly report)

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, Direct Data Analysis Ltd cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated, opinions expressed herein are those of the author of the page and do not necessarily represent the views of the NHS.

Direct Data Analysis 
Employee satisfaction surveys can be used to improve job satisfaction and increase performance.

Below is a very brief overview of employee satisfaction surveys, provided by Direct Data Analysis .

Employee satisfaction surveys can be useful tools to help employers identify employee satisfaction and dissatisfaction.  They can help identify and deal with any potential conflicts, provide useful and actionable information for managers, and help create loyal and motivated employees.

Organisations can undertake their own employee satisfaction surveys, however an external survey provider should be used to provide unbiased and independent reporting of the results. 

The survey should be confidential, collect no data which could personally identify an employee, and employees should be made aware of this.  The survey is less likely to gain a true reflection from employees if an individual thought that answers could be traced back to themselves.

In order to improve response rates, employees should be informed that the results from the survey will be used to improve the workplace.

The survey questionnaire should be developed so as not to provide any leading or vague questions.

A copy of the survey results should be made available for employees to see, and if this is the first employee survey, a follow up survey should be undertaken at a later stage in order to measure any improvements following actions undertaken based on the original survey results.