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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Number of practices submitting monthly Friends and Family data dives sharply

GPs have been warned they risk breaching their contract if they fail to submit July’s Friends and Family Test results, after some areas have seen significant drops in responses.

The response rate for the FFT from London practices fell to 57% in May, a drop of 13% on April’s results and the lowest of any English region.

The South was the next region lowest performing area, with 68% of practices submitting data, followed by Midlands and East (70%) and the North (72%).

But the latest NHS England figures for June reflect that measures taken to boost GP awareness of the rules had begun to take effect, with responses increasing 13% in London - compared to 7% nationally.

Pulse reported in May that Londonwide had warned a quarter of practices had not consistently submitted FFT data, but that NHS England would not initially issue breach of contract notices.

Instead, it launched additional training to support the 1,000 practices who had not been regularly submitting data

In a newsletter to member practices Londonwide LMCs state: ‘We are aware that there must be confusion for practices about the data required for F&F test because NHS England has the monthly returns that show that many practices have not submitted regularly and some, not since it was introduced.’

It adds that some practices did not submit because of IT errors, because they thought it did not apply to them or because they thought this was a one-off submission exercise.

But the letter warns ‘We must remind practices that if you do not submit F&FT data monthly for three consecutive months you will be in breach of your contracts and risk having a breach notice issued to you.’

‘Monthly submissions of the data you collect from F&FT must be submitted on the 12th working day in the month after the data is collected. July’s data is due on the 18th August.’

An NHS England spokesperson said: ‘The number of practices submitting friends and family data went up by 7% in June and the overall number of responses was 8.6% higher. Our priority continues to be to support the small number of practices experiencing difficulties in collecting and returning friends and family data to identify and overcome these problems.’

Pulse revealed at the start of the month that practices’ positive results from the Friends and Family test were being underestimated because NHS England was not differentiating between patients giving a negative score and those responding ‘don’t know’.

This story was edited on 20 August to include NHS England’s statement and the latest results from June.

Readers' comments (10)

  • A regulation feedback step too far?FFS

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  • Could it be that they are afraid of the feedback from people who wanted penicillin for their common cold?

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  • I suspect that the full data is pretty terrible. If you look at http://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/friends-and-family-test/friends-and-family-test-data/ all of the F&F data is published for maternity, inpatients, outpatients etc. The latests data is for June.
    Despite seven months of plugging data into the system there is nothing for GPs. How bad is the data quality?

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  • oh please Mr area team, don't hit me with a breach notice. The consequences are unthinkable. I might have to ........ hmmm, nothing. OK go ahead.

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  • F*$k those guys. breach breach breack. The government NHS England are a bunch of numptys. Don't prescribe antibiotics and then FFT and NHS choiuces so people can tell the world ur a crap doctor because youre actually a good doctor. classic nonsense form the government and a great way to waste everybodies time with useless beurocracy; which of course theyre determinied to cut.

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  • This comment has been moderated.

  • If no-one is stupid enough to send this crap - they can serve breach notices on the whole of general practice.

    That will be interesting!

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  • as above, if no one sends out any data, will they hold all GP surgeries in breach and send out breach notices? than another? and then close them for not submitting data? That would be interesting

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  • 8:13am They are distant enough to do that without any conception of the consequences - they have more people looking at FFT than any other of their supposed jobs

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  • CQC, Breach notices, Imposed Contracts, Referred to the GMC by the patient for not prescribing antibiotics, by NICE for prescribing antibiotics, Indemnity fee skyrocketing, MPIG and seniority and pay cuts, Appraisal and revalidation , doubling workloads in 15 years - there really has never been a better time to be a GP. Maureen was so right. 5000 no problem. We may have 10000 extra GPs.
    Guess what- there are still a few mugs out there.

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  • This could be one civil disobedience that GPs could endulge in, safe in the knowledge that no patient will be harmed -

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