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University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

When things don't go to plan

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) offer confidential advice, support and information on matters relating to your care and treatment at any of the trust’s hospitals. We will listen to your comments and feedback and if something hasn’t gone so well, where we can, we will put things right as quickly as possible. We are a patient friendly, easy-to-access service designed to provide a personal contact to assist patients, relatives and carers.

If you are contacting us regarding non-elective operations and procedures that you are waiting for please follow this link to our Coronavirus guidance page where the most up to date information is available

We know that we don't get it right for our patients 100% of the time. If you are not happy with the care you receive while in hospital it is much better to tell someone while you are still here, so that we can do something about it. You can:

  • Ask to speak to the Ward Sister/Charge Nurse (or their deputy) on your ward.
  • Ask to speak to a member of the directorate management team in charge of the ward you are staying in.

If you have concerns and would prefer to speak to someone who has not been involved in your care please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).

If you are wishing to raise concerns or complaints on behalf of a patient, we will need written consent from the patient or a full copy (15 pages) of Health and Welfare Power of Attorney to enable a reply to be provided to you. This is simply because we have a duty to protect every patient's right to confidentiality concerning their clinical treatment.

What is PALS?

The PALS and Complaints team at The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is a patient friendly, easy-to-access service designed to provide a personal contact to assist patients, relatives and carers.

PALS and Complaints team can offer you on-the-spot advice and information when you have queries or difficulties regarding the hospital services or the care you have received.

They will listen to your concerns and help you find ways of resolving them.

They will also take note of what you tell them to help us improve our services for patients.

The PALS and Complaints department provides confidential, free advice and support and is independent to wards and departments in the Trust.

More information about the Poole Hospital PALS team can be found below


Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) at Poole Hospital

Although the staff who look after you do all they can to make sure you are treated properly and promptly, we recognise that occasionally, things can go wrong. If you, your family or visitor have a concern about your care or treatment, where possible you should talk to someone who is close to the cause of your concern, such as the doctor, nurse or receptionist. We always like to try to resolve concerns at the time they happen and often, the matter can be resolved straight away. Likewise, we want the opportunity to try to stop it from happening again.

If you don’t want to raise your concern with the staff involved, you can ask to speak to the Matron or contact them via the main hospital switchboard.

If you feel that the member of staff has not adequately resolved your concern, or if you would rather raise your concern with someone else, you can contact the PALS service, which is based away from the wards, in the Patient Experience Centre. We will work with you to achieve a satisfactory resolution, whether you are requesting information, providing feedback, raising a concern or making a complaint.

PALS are here to:

  • Provide information and help answer questions about hospital care
  • Advise and support patients their families and carers. We understand that being in hospital can be an anxious time and you might need someone else to act on your behalf
  • Listen to your concerns if you are unhappy with an aspect of your care and help to resolve problems or concerns quickly, before they become more serious. We are also the gateway to the complaints procedure and can give you information about making a complaint and how to contact independent help
  • Additional support for patients who need it such as people with a learning disability or autism. (click here for, 'This is me - my care passport', and Easy Read leaflets)
  • Organise interpreters for deaf people and non-English speakers
  • Listen to your views about our services and your ideas about how we could improve. We are a contact point for your feedback and suggestions about how services can be improved click here to find out more.

We are available Monday to Friday from 09.30 to 16.00. If no one is available to take your call, please leave a message and we will contact you as soon as we are able to. We are usually able to return your call on the same day, but if that is not possible, we aim to return all calls within 2 working days.


How can we help?

PALS can:

  • Advise you of the options available to you and help you to find the best way of resolving your problem
  • Provide information on NHS services
  • Deal with your problems in confidence and only pass on information to other people or departments with your permission
  • Keep you advised at all times of the progress of any action you ask us to take on your behalf
  • Use anonymised information from our contact with you to improve hospital services for the future
  • Not access your medical records or obtain information about you from staff without your permission
  • Ensure that no person who contacts the PALS and Complaints department will receive less favourable treatment from PALS on the grounds of their sex, marital status, race, colour, creed, religion, physical disability, mental health, learning difficulty, age or sexual orientation
  • Provide information and support to access other information including the NHS complaints procedure
  • Provide information about any aspect of the Trust's services
  • Liaison between professionals for patients
  • Auditing concerns and complaints to pick up trends and influence changes required to make improvements
  • Supporting patients and public involvement in care
  • Raising staff awareness of public concerns and issues.

If you have problems or difficulties

If you have a problem which has not been sorted out on the ward or in a department, PALS will help you to resolve it, or refer you to the appropriate person who will be able to assist you further.

Should you need to speak to a particular member of staff, PALS can contact the relevant member of staff and ask them to contact you.

How to contact PALS

Visit the PALS office

You can visit us between 9.30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday -we're in the main entrance atrium of the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

Please note, due to our management of the coronavirus pandemic, we are currently closed to walk-ins. You can still contact us via phone or email.

Ask a member of staff

Please ask a member of staff on the ward or clinic you are attending. They will help put you in contact with the PALS team.

PALS contact numbers

Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals: 0300 019 4886

Poole Hospital: 0300 019 8499  (Mobile: 07758 272495)

If you call out-of-hours, please leave a message and a member of the PALS team will return your call as soon as possible.

PALS contact email addresses

Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Poole Hospital: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Support

If you need any help or advice to make your complaint you can contact The Advocacy People. Their telephone information service is available on 0330 440 9000 from 10:00 - 17:00 Monday and 09:00 - 17:00 Tuesday to Friday and outside of these times a message can be left, alternatively you can e-mail them via: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or text 80800 using keyword PEOPLE followed by your message. The service is also available via www.theadvocacypeople.org.uk/ or you can write to them at:
The Advocacy People
PO Box 375
Hastings
East Sussex
TN34 9HU

Reports

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