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Maternity Team Wins National Friends and Family Test Award

Newsdate: 21 March 2016 Maternity Award Photo

WWL’s Maternity Team were the proud recipients of a National Friends and Family Test Award on Thursday 17 March.

The Friends and Family Test is an initiative used across the NHS to allow for patient feedback to be given on healthcare. Results of the test are used to bring positive improvements to the way we provide care.

The team were presented with their award at a national Friends and Family Test and Insight Conference, held at the Queens Hotel in Leeds. The awards, hosted by NHS England, celebrate the positive changes that are being made to healthcare as a result of patient Maternity Wardfeedback.  Our team were honoured in the Friends and Family Champions of the Year category.

The Friends and Family Champions of the Year category rewards an individual or team who have made the most outstanding contribution to the successful implementation of the Friends and Family Test (FFT) in any NHS-funded service. To win such a tremendous award is a fantastic achievement by our dedicated Maternity Team.

There was incredible competition for the award and nominations had to be sent to NHS England by Friday 8 January. Other categories included; Best Staff FFT Initiative, Best FFT Accessibility Initiative, Best FFT Initiative in any Other NHS-Funded and Best FFT Initiative in Primary Care. Overall, the awards attracted nearly 200 entries. Once the nominations were received, winners were selected by a panel of judges invited by NHS England.

To win the award, our Maternity team used a number of innovative ways to raise awareness of the FFT to patients visiting the Maternity and Labour wards. One such measure was distributing both labour and postnatal cards together so mother and baby could enjoy uninterrupted bonding time after delivery. Another was adding completion of the FFT to the discharge list for patients, ensuring that their voice was heard. Perhaps most inventive of all was the establishment of a “check-out” system, similar to a hotel, whereby patients were asked to “check out” by posting their FFT cards into a box when leaving the ward.

In addition, engagement with staff led to “Friends and Family Test Champions” being created, not only for Maternity, but as a Trust-wide initiative. These champions, drawn from WWL staff, help to raise awareness of the FFT initiative so that our patients know that they can tell us what they think about our service.

At WWL, we are very proud of our Maternity Team’s achievement. Andrea Arkwright, Head of Engagement said, “The Friends and Family Test is one of the best ways for our patients to provide vital feedback to our Trust, in order for us to continually improve the services we provide for them. Our Maternity Team have done an outstanding job in offering opportunities for our patients to provide such feedback. The information is used to improve services for our patients’ families and carers and also to celebrate with our staff what we are doing well. We feel they are worthy recipients of this prestigious award.”

Meanwhile, Head of Midwifery, Children’s and Patient Services, Diane Swindlehurst, was thrilled with the award for WWL’s Maternity Team: “At WWL, we are always looking to improve our patient services. The Friends and Family Test enables us to heed our patient’s opinions and put their feedback into positive action. Our Maternity team have been incredibly creative in their ways to ensure patients are aware of the initiative. Their FFT scores are also highly impressive. I am absolutely delighted that they have been honoured with this worthy award, a fitting tribute to the hard, caring work our Maternity team strive to provide, with our patients in mind.”   

Pauline Law, Director of Nursing, added her thoughts: “I’m absolutely delighted that Maternity have received this award. There is no recommendation greater, than one made by the women who use our services.”  

Finally, WWL Chief Executive, Andrew Foster, also paid tribute to our Maternity Team’s success, saying, “I am delighted to be able to offer my congratulations to our Maternity Team, for their outstanding achievement in winning this prestigious award. Their innovative measures to implement the Friends and Family Test have ensured that our patient’s voices can be heard.

“Their efforts are emblematic of two of our Trust Values, Respect & Dignity and Patient First. They are also evidence of two Trust Priorities, Quality and Staff Engagement. This award is also testimony to the tremendous, hard work our Maternity Team put in to provide high quality care for our patients.”