Patient Advice and Liaison Service – PALS
We're here to help
As a patient, relative or carer you might want to turn to someone at the Royal Devon for help, advice or support. This is where our Patient Advice and Liaison Service – PALS for short – comes in.
PALS is available to anyone using the Royal Devon's Eastern services, including our the RD&E Hospital, community hospitals, specialist centres, and community services.
Our teams of friendly staff that provide the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), are part of our wider Patient Experience department.
How we can help – PALS team
The PALS team provides help in many ways. For example, they can:
- offer you confidential advice, support and information
- signpost you to the range of services that are available
- liaise with other hospital staff and with relevant organisations where appropriate to arrange an immediate or prompt solution to any queries or concerns you may have
The PALS team can also give you information about:
- the NHS complaints procedure, including how to get independent help if you want to make a complaint
- support groups outside the NHS
PALS will also feed your views back to the relevant areas, helping the Royal Devon to see things from your perspective and improve services in response to your feedback.
PALS aim to respond quickly and sensitively to all queries and provide the best support possible.
At the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust we are committed to listening to patient and carer feedback at every opportunity and actively encourage people to share their experience no matter what.
Your feedback enables us to celebrate and re-enforce what goes well. It also helps us to better understand and learn from what can be done better.
We do this in many different ways, for example through Care Opinion, our PALS team, complaints, concerns, comments, compliments and other patient experience tools such as National surveys and the Friends and Family Test.
All feedback is shared directly with the relevant services, as well as regular reports provided to our 'Patient Experience Committee', as part of the Trust's governance.
For more information click here to visit our ‘Your feedback matters’ pages.
How to raise a concern quickly
If you have a concern about the care that you are currently receiving, or wish to raise a concern on behalf of a current patient (inpatient or outpatient), please firstly speak to a member of staff providing the care. This could be a nurse, ward sister or matron, a doctor, other health professional or a non-clinical member of staff. They want to help you and will try to resolve your concerns right away.
If your concerns cannot be resolved informally with the staff involved, you may wish to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team.
You can speak with a PALS member, who'll try to help you resolve issues informally with the hospital before you need to make a complaint. The PALS team offers confidential advice, support and information on health-related matters and provide a point of contact for patients, their families and their carers.
PALS can be particularly helpful if your issue is urgent and you need action immediately, such as a problem with the treatment or care you receive while in hospital.
How to make a formal complaint
If despite speaking to a member of staff or our PALS team, your concerns remain unresolved, you may wish to make a complaint. We investigate all complaints fully and will advise you of the outcome.
We aim to respond positively to complaints, as your views and experiences help us to improve services for our patients and their relatives in the future.
You can complain in writing by sending your complaint to:
Patient Experience Manager
North Devon District Hospital
Alternatively, you can email your complaint via email@example.com
If you are complaining on behalf of someone else you may be required to complete a consent form. Please ensure that you include your contact details along with the name, NHS number and date of birth of the person that the complaint relates to.
You should make your complaint within 12 months of the incident or within 12 months of the matter coming to your attention. This time limit can sometimes be extended as long as it is still possible to investigate your complaint.