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What else should I ask patients in the Friends and Family Test?



So, obviously, the big news is the guidance for the implementation of ‘The Friends and Family Test’ is out. At 16 pages and 3,662 words, it’s almost exactly 80 times as long as the actual thing it’s guiding us about.

And that’s not even the most remarkable aspect of this valuable addition to our modern general practice lifestyle. No. That’s the fact that the much rumoured ‘second question’ – the opportunity for us to ask a supplementary question ‘of our choosing’ – really is enshrined in the guidance.

Now, on the one hand, this is clearly too good an opportunity to miss. But on the other, you may well be too busy – reading 16-page, 3,662-word guidance on the Friends and Family test, for example – to be able to dream up a suitable second question.

So, as a Pulse service to readers, I present to you 20 possible supplementary questions. Thus:

Question 1

We would like you to think about your recent experiences of our service. How likely are you to recommend our GP practice to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?

Extremely likely; Likely; Neither likely nor unlikely; Unlikely; Extremely unlikely; or Don’t know.

Possible Supplementary Question 2

Are you sure?

Are you sick of satisfaction questionnaires?

You do think, don’t you, that the FFT is a patronising and pointless waste of time? Go on, you do. Don’t you? Don’t you?

What is the capital of Swaziland?

How strongly do you accept that the Government should supply GPs with free chocolate digestive biscuits?

What’s your favourite colour?

Who do you think you are?

To quote from the guidance, the Government wants you to feel as though you are in a continuous feedback loop. Is that how you feel now?

Do you want to escape?

Do you suppose that a person has ever really been suckled by a she-wolf?

Do ya think I’m sexy?

Who put the bop in the bop shoo bop shoo bop?

Who put the dip in the dip da dip da dip?

Do you think that, in the brief pause between your doctor pressing ‘print’ on the computer and the printer providing your prescription, when you normally manage to think of another symptom such as tiredness or dizziness to ask about ‘While you’re there’, you could try, in the future, to shut the f**k up?

Do you think that the abbreviation FFT would be better replaced by a similar abbreviation which ends in ‘S’?

Are you looking at me?

Do you want to settle it outside?

Why am I doing this shitty job?

What’s the point?

Will you just go away now please?

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. You can follow him on Twitter @DocCopperfield