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Don’t fear the Friends and Family Test, GPs told

The Friends and Family Test will ‘do general practice good’ and should not be feared by GPs, says the deputy chair of the GPC.

Dr Richard Vautrey said the question asking all patients how likely they are to recommend a GP practice would confirm how much they are liked.

All practices must rollout the test to their patients by the end of December 2014 in England under the terms of the new GP contract.

Dr Vautrey said at the Pulse Live conference in London yesterday: ‘The Friends and Family Test is something that will start later in the year, and something which I think will actually do general practice good.

‘Most patients like their GP, like their practice, and I think this will be a way to confirm that. So I don’t think we should be afraid of this.’

But back in 2012, when the Friends and Family Test was announced, fellow GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden said it was ‘trite trouble’, and would not reflect reality of good GP practice because GPs have to tell patients ‘things they don’t want to hear’.

The test has also been criticised by CCG leaders who feared it could be misused to ‘beat up’ NHS staff.