When the Royal Free Hospital was founded in 1828, our mission was to provide care and prevent ill health.
That mission remains, but the way we provide healthcare has changed dramatically since then.
Some changes are due to advancement in technology and in changes to the economics which underpin healthcare, but we also make changes because of patient and carer feedback.
Patient experience can be described as ‘what the process of receiving care feels like for patients’.
Understanding patient experience can be achieved through a range of activities that capture direct feedback from patients, carers, other service users and the wider community — from surveys, to working together to co-produce services.
Ultimately, good patient experience and involvement is shown to result in better clinical outcomes for patients, as one of the three pillars of high-quality care alongside patient safety and clinical effectiveness.
We value the feedback of our patients and carers and need to seek and understand your views, so that we can work towards meeting your needs and expectations.
We use it to celebrate what we’re doing well, share learning, replicate successful initiatives where appropriate and to make improvements where you think we could do better.
If you’d like to share a positive experience or make a suggestion about any aspect of your care, please speak to the person in charge of the ward, clinic or department.
Alternatively, you can get in touch with our patient experience teams.
Please note that our patient experience teams do not deal with complaints.
If you’d like to raise a concern or make a complaint, please see the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) section below.
Contact our patient experience teams
If you’re unhappy with the care you have received at the Royal Free London, then in the first instance we suggest talking to the staff involved in your care, as this can often lead to issues being resolved more quickly.
If this does not resolve your concerns, you can visit our PALS page for information on how to raise your concern with the trust.
Please note that you can also contact PALS to leave compliments for staff and the care you’ve received, which will be passed to the team.
Healthwatch is the independent national champion for people who use health and social care services and there’s a local Healthwatch for every area of England.
Each local Healthwatch gathers information on patients’ experiences of local health and social care services, which can be used to influence both national policy and local services.
To find out more information or get involved, contact your local Healthwatch:
You can also leave a review of our hospitals via the NHS website.
At the Royal Free London, we have a number of surveys designed to find out what our patients think of our services.
The Friends and Family Test (FTT) is an important feedback tool that provides an opportunity for people who use NHS services to share their experience.
The FFT asks you to rate your overall experience of the care you’ve received on a scale from very good to very poor.
You’ll then be asked to explain why you chose that answer and what matters most to you when you’re in hospital.
You should be given the opportunity to complete this before you leave hospital, but if you aren’t, you can complete one of our local surveys (see the section below).
If you attend our emergency departments (A&Es) at Barnet Hospital or the Royal Free Hospital you will receive a text message from 80870 asking you to complete the FFT. This message is sent from Healthcare Communications on behalf of the trust and is completely free to respond to. Some mobile networks will tell you that you may be charged, but rest assured that these are generic, automated warnings and that is not the case.
The patient experience teams ensure the results of the FFT are collated, reported on and shared with the relevant departments and management teams, so that action can be taken, and the results fed into improvement plans.
We want to ensure that giving us feedback is as easy as possible, and so we’ve provided various ways for you to tell us what you think.
Many areas have an electronic device or kiosk which you can use to tell us about your experience.
You’ll be encouraged to use this device before you’re discharged, but you can give feedback at any time during your stay, so please ask a member of staff if you’d like to do so.
There are also devices located in many of the outpatient areas across our hospitals, or you can scan one of the QR codes you’ll see on posters using the camera on your smartphone. Please speak with a member of staff if you need more information or support to complete the survey.
All our local surveys start with the Friends and Family Test and then give you the option of answering more questions should you wish.
If you have recent experience of our services, why not complete one of our surveys below:
- Outpatient services
- Inpatient wards
- Emergency department
- Clinical nurse specialists
- Antenatal friends and family test
- Postnatal community friends and family test
- Neonatal (Starlight ward at Barnet Hospital)
- Neonatal (6 North ward at the Royal Free Hospital)
- Royal Free Hospital Intensive Care Unit
The NHS patient survey programme is part of the government's commitment to ensure patient feedback informs the continued development and improvement of healthcare services.
The programme is delivered by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on behalf of NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care.
We take part in four national surveys:
- adult inpatient survey (carried out every year)
- maternity survey (carried out every year)
- urgent and emergency care survey (carried out every two years)
- children and young people’s patient experience survey (carried out every two years)
Although not part of the CQC NHS patient survey programme, the trust also take part in the annual National Cancer Patient Experience Survey.
This survey is an important part of the national NHS cancer programme, which places patient experience on par with clinical effectiveness and safety as a key strategic priority.
If you’re invited to take part in one of these surveys, we'd encourage you to do so.
If you experience any difficulties accessing any of the above surveys, please email us.
Nominate a nurse, midwife or healthcare support worker that made the biggest and most positive experience to you as a patient, relative or service user at Royal Free London (this could also be a team of nurses, midwives and healthcare support workers).