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.

Our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can help you with any concerns you may have about your experience and can record compliments you may wish to leave about your care. 

If you are unhappy with the care you have received at any of our Royal Free London hospitals, then in the first instance we recommend speaking 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. 

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).

Nominate a nurse, midwife or healthcare assistant for a patient's choice award.

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 (FFT) 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.

In June 2024, we moved to a new provider to help collect this valuable feedback.

Following an admission, an attendance at one of our emergency departments (A&Es) or urgent treatment centres, or an outpatient appointment, you may receive a text message from 80870 asking you to complete the FFT.

This message is sent from Healthcare Communications on behalf of our 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.

Our 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.

View the national FTT results on the NHS website.

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)

View our survey results on the CQC website

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

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: 

NHS website

You can also leave a review of our hospitals via the NHS website.