Display Patient Information Leafelts

PALS: Patient Advice and Liaison Service

Date issued: October 2019

For review: October 2021

Ref: D-68/Corp/SM/PALS v8

PDF:  PALS [pdf] 365KB


  • Concerned but don’t want to complain?
  • Have a problem but don’t know who to ask?
  • Worried and not sure what to do?
  • Happy with your treatment and want to tell us?


Want to say something?

We want to listen

Our aim is to deliver the highest quality of service and standards of individual care. Through listening to your views we can continue to develop and improve our services to our patients.

Our staff are here to help you and it is important for them to know if you have any suggestions or comments about the services you have received so they can take immediate action.

We welcome any suggestion or comments that will improve our services. Please speak to the Ward or Department Manager or the PALS department. You may also write to the Chief Executive.

Want to share a positive experience?

We also want to learn from your positive experiences as these will form an essential part of our ongoing evaluation of the patient experience at our Hospital. It also gives you the opportunity to let the staff know that their care and professionalism have not gone unnoticed. You can share your experience by posting a comment within the ‘feedback’ section of the NHS Choices website, by e-mail or telephone to PALS, or by writing to the Chief Executive.

The NHS Choices website address is: http://www.nhs.uk/pages/home.aspx

Step 1: If you have a concern or a complaint?

We want to resolve it

It is very important that you let the staff involved know of your concerns and dissatisfaction as soon as possible. This will allow them to quickly put things right for you.

If you feel that you are not able to speak directly to a member of staff you can ask to speak to the person in charge, in any department or ward you are visiting. Usually they can help resolve things for you. If not, they can advise and arrange further assistance.

We assure you that if you make a complaint, this will not compromise your care, or that of a member of your family.

Don’t want to speak to a member of staff?

We can still help

If you feel that you are not able to speak directly to a member of staff on the ward or department about your concern, you can ask staff to contact the PALS department who will arrange to assist you as quickly as possible.

PALS Clinics

PALS carry out regular visits to our ward and departments to speak to our patients and their relatives or carers whilst they are in hospital. The PALS Clinics give our patients the opportunity to speak to a member of the PALS team, to share their experience and ensure any concerns raised are addressed whilst a patient is in hospital for immediate resolution.

Want to make a complaint?

Help is available in our Trust

If your concern cannot be resolved at the time, you may wish to make a complaint, either by writing, by e-mail or by telephone. Normally this should be within 12 months of the events themselves or within 12 months of learning of the problem.

If you have difficulty in writing a complaint, the PALS team can advise you on how to do this and register your complaint for an investigation under the NHS Complaints Procedure.

However you wish to contact us, we will send you an acknowledgement of receipt and a letter detailing your concerns, giving you the opportunity to check that your concerns have been correctly recorded and to make amendments.

Don’t want to speak directly to the PALS department?

Independent help is available ICAS (Independent Complaints Advocacy Service) 0808 802 3000

Independent Complaints Advocacy services are totally independent from this organisation. They cannot investigate your complaint, but they can help you make your complaint in writing, liaise with us on your behalf and attend meetings with you. Independent Complaints Advocacy is provided through your Local Authority; please contact your Local Authority’s Customer Services Department for details of their advocacy service.

Want to complain on behalf of an adult?

If you wish to make a complaint on behalf of an adult, under normal circumstances we will require a signed and dated statement from that person giving us permission to investigate and to release information to you which may be confidential to them. The PALS department has a consent form for this purpose.

Want to complain on behalf of a child?

If you wish to make a complaint on behalf of a child and you are not the parent(s) or legal guardian of the child we will require a signed and dated statement from the parent(s) or legal guardian. The PALS department has a consent form for this purpose.

What will happen next?

Once we have acknowledged your complaint, the Director(s) of the relevant department(s) will investigate the events and issues in question on behalf of the Chief Executive.

The Chief Executive will send you a written response or offer a meeting with the relevant staff within the time period agreed between you and PALS, wherever possible. This will explain the outcome of the investigation, any action(s) already taken and plans for further actions.

Every effort will be made to resolve your complaint.

If you remain dissatisfied, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman leaflet ‘Bringing a complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman’ may help you. This explains what to do next and 5 copies can be obtained by contacting the PALS department or the Health Service Ombudsman direct.

Step 2: The Health Service Ombudsman: for review of your concerns

If you remain dissatisfied with our response to your concerns you may contact the Health Service Ombudsman’s office to review your complaint.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman for England

13th Floor, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London. SW1P 4QP. Helpline: 0345 015 4033 Textphone (Minicom): 0300 061 4298 Email: phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk Website: www.ombudsman.org.uk


How to contact PALS

Monday - Friday 9:30am - 5pm

Please visit the Welcome Centre where we will be happy to see you and listen to your concerns.

Phone us, but please note our phone lines are open between 09:30am and 16:00 pm

01752 439884 or 432564

Internal calls 39884 or 32564

Email us plh-tr.PALS@nhs.net

FAX us 01752 768976

Write to us

Patient Advice & Liaison Office (PALS)

Patient Services, Level 7

Derriford Hospital

Plymouth, PL6 8DH 6

Out of hours arrangements

In an emergency you can contact the duty manager through the main hospital switchboard… Tel: 01752 202082

Not a Derriford Hospital related problem? Community based Pals:

Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG)


County Hall

Topsham Road

Exeter EX2 4QL

Telephone: 01392 267 665 or 0300 123 1672

Text for call back: 07789 741 099

Email: pals.devon@nhs.net or complaints.devon@nhs.net  

Complaints Address:

Chief Executive

Level 7

Derriford Hospital

Plymouth, PL6 8DH

Other useful contacts

Independent Health Complaints Advocacy will give independent advice and help with formal complaints about the health service.

They can be contacted on 0300 3435719

If you have a problem with a community based service please contact NHS England. Such as Mental Health, Learning Disabilities, Rehabilitation, GP services or Dentists you can contact PCT PALS on: england.contactus@nhs.net

Or write to them at:

NHS England

PO Box 16738


B97 9PT

Telephone: 0300 311 22 33

No Smoking Policy

Derriford Hospital operates a strict smoke free policy. Smoking is not permitted inside any of the trust’s premises or anywhere in the grounds. Patients, members of the public and staff are not allowed to smoke on site. There are no smoking shelters available.

Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do for your health. It is never too late. If you have tried before, it is worth trying again. Your stay in hospital is the perfect time to quit. Derriford has 2 stop smoking advisors who visit the wards.

The advisor will give you support and can provide free medication to help you quit. If you would like to see the stop smoking advisor, please talk to your ward staff.

Plymouth NHS Stop Smoking Service: 01752 314040 Ward staff can contact the service internally on 41040 If you do not want to stop smoking but would like some nicotine replacement therapy to make your stay more comfortable, please ask your ward staff.

Translation and Interpretation Service

If you require an interpreter, or translation, please ask a member of our staff to arrange it for you. These translations say ‘I require an interpreter’

Polish: Mówi? po polsku, prosz? wezwa? t?umacza

Chinese Mandarin: ???????????????

Arabic: ??? ????? ??????? ? ???? ??????? ????

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