All NHS patients should have the opportunity to leave feedback, in real time, on any service, by 2015, the NHS Commissioning Board has announced.

The board’s first ever planning guidance said the proposals would build on the rollout of the nascent patient satisfaction survey, the friends and family test, which all English trusts must run from April 2013.

The document, Everyone Counts: Planning for Patients 2013-14, says: “We will expect commissioners to work with providers to put in place mechanisms for systematically capturing real-time patient and carer feedback and comment, as well as developing plans to gather public insight on local health services.

“Our aim is to ensure that all NHS funded patients will have the opportunity to leave feedback in real time on any service by 2015.”

It confirmed that the friends and family test will be introduced for all acute hospital inpatients and accident and emergency patients from April 2013 and for women who have used maternity services from October 2013.

The board also announced in the planning guidance that providers will receive direct financial rewards as a result of their friends and family test performance.  

Commissioners will be “empowered to incentivise high performing trusts” by being able to reward them through the CQUIN scheme, the document said.   

Plans to rapidly expand real time patient feedback were first revealed by the board’s information chief Tim Kelsey in an HSJ interview in October.

The board’s director of patient and public engagement, insight and informatics told HSJ he wanted the NHS to replicate so-called “311 services” from the US. These give residents a real-time insight into how problems with public services are being overcome.

Better data  

The document also outlined the commissioning board’s plans for “a modern data service”,, which will span the health and social care systems.

It said: “This will provide timely, accurate data derived from information collected as part of the care process and linked along care pathways.”

The document outlined a series of landmarks for trusts to hit:

  • The data base service will require universal adoption of the NHS number as the primary identifier by all providers in 2013-14.
  • A core set of clinical data from GP practices will be collected from 2013-14 to ensure clinical commissioning groups have the information they need to make informed decisions.
  • This will support clinical commissioning groups’ analysis of outcomes along patient pathways, while maintaining patient confidentiality. This dataset is published alongside this planning framework.
  • The board will work with CCGs and providers to develop comprehensive clinical data for secondary care and consult on it before development of planning guidance for 2014-15.
  • The board will expect secondary care providers to be able to account for the outcomes of all patients they treat and to adopt modern, safe standards of electronic record keeping by 2014-15.
  • In 2013-14 it will expect secondary care providers to comply with data collections that have been approved by the Information Standards Board, including the Systemic Anti-Cancer  Therapy dataset and Cancer Outcomes and Services dataset which will help to improve cancer outcomes for patients.