Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) - Northern services
Our team of friendly staff that provide the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), Patient Experience and Complaints service are part of our wider Patient Experience department.
The department is responsible for collating and analysing patient feedback. They report regularly through the Trust’s Governance system, to inform and facilitate improvements to our services.
How we can help – PALS team
As a patient, relative or carer you might want to turn to someone 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 North Devon services, including our hospitals and community.
Due to COVID-19, we are unable to meet with you in person, but our team are happy to discuss your concerns over the phone or via email.
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 North Devon 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 Patient Experience team, helping North 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.
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.
The North Devon complaints policy is available here
Links to more information
Please click on the following links for more information about how we can help:
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, the Trust’s Quality Assessment Tools 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 Organisational Group', as part of the Trust's governance process.
For more information, or to leave us feedback, please get in touch via our contact us page.
Patient experience support during covid
In response to the Coronavirus outbreak, to help us maintain social distancing and reduce the risk to our staff and patients, we made the difficult decision to restrict visiting across the Trust.
We know that staying in touch with loved ones is really important during a hospital stay, so the Patient Experience team are here to help patients and their families keep in touch. This is available across all of our hospital sites.
The Patient Experience team is able to:
- relay personal messages to patients who are staying on wards
- signpost you to arrange virtual visiting with a video call to family
Email your messages, photos, cards or drawings to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the patient name and ward. These will be delivered the next working day following your email.
If your loved one does not have a smartphone, it is possible for us to set up a virtual visit. To organise this service please contact the ward directly to arrange a time.
If you need support to facilitate this, please contact the team on email@example.com who will be happy to assist.
For concerns and information that needs a quick response please contact PALS:
Monday to Friday 09:30 – 16:30
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 01271 314090
For sending patient correspondence to the inpatient wards:
Monday to Friday 08:00 – 16:00
To contact the complaints team:
Monday to Friday 08:00 – 16:00
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 01271 335760