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How does PALS work?

The PALS team will listen carefully to what you have to tell them.

We will support, encourage and enable you to deal with things for yourself wherever possible by:

How do enquiries to PALS differ from complaints?

PALS staff will not pursue a concern that is already being addressed through the Trust's complaints procedure. If a person has previously made a formal complaint to the Trust about a particular issue, PALS staff cannot take further action to resolve this matter.

The majority of people who contact PALS, do so in person, or by telephone. Sometimes people may say they want to make a complaint, when in fact they want action to be taken to resolve their concerns. PALS and other members of staff can work together to achieve this.

If the issue needs serious, in depth or formal investigation, or if a person wishes to make a formal complaint, PALS will explain the complaints procedure, and provide information of independent advocacy and support should they so wish. PALS can also pass their query on to the Complaints and Legal Services Department.

Will anyone know I have contacted PALS?

No - PALS is a confidential NHS service.

We will not speak to anyone about you unless we have your permission to do so, except where this may affect your own or someone else's health and safety.

Your enquiry can remain anonymous, although to ensure that all concerns are bought to the Trust's attention, records of all enquiries are kept.

We regularly use this information to compile reports about the work we are doing, and the issues that patients are raising with us. However, all our reports are anonomised, and we take care to ensure that no enquirers can be identified.

Information about you may be held in our database and you may at any time see the information the PALS Team hold about you. We are registered under the Data Protection Act for this purpose.

Comments, compliments, concerns and complaints

We value all your comments and suggestions and use them to help us improve our services.

We recognise that although we try hard there are times when things do not go as smoothly as we would wish. By raising your concerns, you are providing the Trust with an opportunity to make changes and improve services where necessary, and helping us to learn from your experience.