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Benenden Hospital wins recognition in national awards

Benenden Hospital has been selected as a finalist in a national awards scheme about the way patient and staff feedback is used to improve healthcare services.

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Media inquiries regarding this story should be directed to Jane Barlow at Benenden Hospital.

01580 857425

The Friends and Family Test (FFT) is a way to find out from patients, quickly and anonymously, how they rate their latest experience of care or treatment. They can provide comments to explain their score and this feedback helps services to focus on areas that need improvement.

The FFT Awards 2016 were set up to recognise healthcare providers who are going the extra mile in their work to listen to patients and staff. There are five categories and Benenden Hospital has made the shortlist for the “Best Friends and Family Test initiative in any other NHS funded service” category.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony to be held in Leeds on Thursday, 17 March.

Benenden Hospital is not an NHS hospital, it is an independent hospital with a small proportion of NHS referrals. The Hospital’s entry explained how the Hospital has developed a culture of listening to and learning from patients developing the FFT in to something much wider than just the original question of recommendation.

Within the last year the Hospital has developed its Patient Experience Strategy and Plan taking into account best practice guidance and ensuring that patients are able to express their views through the use of feedback cards and spot light events on those aspects of care that matter most to people.

Last year a new patient experience forum was set up and an event was held asking patients what they would like to see in Benenden Hospital’s current multi-million pound redevelopment. Patient views are now informing the new Hospital’s interior design and outpatient facilities.

Director of Patient Services Claire Harley said: “At Benenden Hospital we have put our patient experience at the heart of everything we do, right from the business plan, through to departmental level and weaved in with every work stream as part of our continuous improvement programme. Through the dedication and commitment of staff across all services we have managed to ensure that patient feedback, and properly listening to and learning from that feedback, is part and parcel of what we do, part of our culture rather than a tick box or key performance indicator.

“In healthcare it is so important that we do gain an insight into how our patients feel about us and what their views are on how we can be the best we can be. We recognise therefore that, to be able to gain trust that completing feedback is both important and valued, a key element of receiving feedback is reflecting that feedback back to people and demonstrating that change occurs as a result.”

Almost 200 entries were received by NHS England. Anu Singh, Director of Patient and Public Participation and Insight, said: “We have rolled out the FFT across most NHS services and we wanted to take stock of how it’s working and what benefits it is actually bringing for patients.

“Through entries to the awards, we have found a rich seam of information about a whole range of improvements, great and small, that make a real difference to how patients feel about their contact with the NHS. It is really rewarding to see the high level of appreciation that patients show for staff and to see how well many healthcare providers are listening to their patients and trying to continuously improve services.”

For more information about the Friends and Family Test please visit

Pictured: Benenden Hospital's patient experience board

Copyright © 2017 Benenden Hospital Trust. The Benenden Hospital Trust, whose registered office is at Goddard's Green Road, Benenden, Cranbrook Kent TN17 4AX is a Company limited by guarantee, Registered in England and Wales, number 3454120, and is also a registered charity, Registered charity number 1065995. The Benenden Hospital Trust is a subsidiary of The Benenden Healthcare Society Limited.

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