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Tell me about your experiences with hospital PALS dept.

(16 Posts)
Mouldypineapple Mon 17-Feb-14 19:51:18

I'm applying for a job in the PALS (Patient Advice Liaison Service) at a nearby hospital. I'm actually a nurse but have a back problem currently which restricts the sort of nursing I can do but PALS interests me and I think I have a lot of transferable skills.
So, can you please tell me your experiences of dealing with PALS - good or bad, the reasons you needed them, how we'll they dealt with your problems, anything else you think I need to know....

lokidoki Mon 17-Feb-14 20:02:01

Never used it as a patient but I am a practice manger and we sometimes use them on behalf of patients. They are generally good at getting to the root of an issue when patients have already been from pillar to post as it were.

They are knowledgeable about who is responsible for what and IME are very resourceful. I don't know for sure but I would imagine that lots of people are quite frustrated and frazzled by the time they get to them.

Lastly, in my opinion, the NHS doesn't promote the service nearly enough.

Good luck grin

RustyParker Mon 17-Feb-14 20:34:52

Hi Mouldy, I recently spoke to PALS at my local hospital to see if it was possible to arrange a debrief after my twin sister's death as I had a few questions.

They have arranged that for me and also put me in touch with the breavement service at the hospital, particularly for a service which I didn't know they offered.

Whilst waiting to hear back from the departments she referred my details onto, she kept in touch with courtsey calls and even when I was in touch with the departments directly, she called to say that PALS would be happy to help if I had any other questions or if things didn't seem to be moving very quickly.

It's the only experience I've had with PALS but I found them to be so helpful, knowledgeable and very approachable. I really felt like they wanted to help.

Good luck! As a former nurse, I think your experiences will be a real asset.

Mouldypineapple Mon 17-Feb-14 21:05:03

That's great thanks, both of you. In the job description it mentions some involvement with the bereavement team too and I am quite keen to be involved with this. I'm quite hopeful about this job!

GoodnessKnows Mon 17-Feb-14 21:36:54

I had a positive experience with the OALS lady at a hospital I was 'staying' in, recently.

GoodnessKnows Mon 17-Feb-14 21:37:05


Piscivorus Mon 17-Feb-14 21:42:14

An elderly relative of mine was badly injured by a healthcare assistant un an NHS hospital. Hospital managers dealt poorly with the complaint so we contacted PALS, they said they would look into things and get back to us, waited until after the date they gave but no response. Contacted them again, they apologised, said they would be in touch and, again, nothing. It is now in the hands of solicitors.

trinity0097 Tue 18-Feb-14 17:15:58

I used them after a nurse at a minor injuries clinic treated me in a medically unfit way and caused me more pain. Visit to a proper a and e sorted the problem and pain was instantly cured by them taking off the tubi grip bandage that the minor injuries nurse had put on and cut off my circulation!
PALS made sure that the nurse involved was retrained.

LouiseSmith Tue 18-Feb-14 17:44:24

I had a very positive expierence with PALs. I wanted a second opinion with my sons bowel movement issues, and the dr we see refused to refer us to another dr (2 doors down the hall) and told is to go back to GP. Pals were amazing, within a month I had another appt, and my son had the treatment he needed. Amazing service smile x

RockinD Tue 18-Feb-14 18:15:03

I have had a lot of dealings with PALS over the last four years when I was under the care (supposedly) of a hospital consultant and either could not get an appointment, or was fobbed off with registrars. Their function seems to be to smooth things over and to stop dissatisfaction turning into a complaint.

I have one remaining issue that needs to be resolved and I am still awaiting a response from them. It's been twelve months now so I am not holding my breath.

Mouldypineapple Tue 18-Feb-14 21:10:25

Thanks everyone, some varied experiences here. It's all helpful. Anyone else at all?

KatyMac Tue 18-Feb-14 21:15:13

I saw them about an incorrect diagnosis

The very nice lady sympathised agreed that our family had been treat abysmally but said they did not get involved with clinical decisions.

Which I couldn't understand

CMOTDibbler Tue 18-Feb-14 21:20:20

I contacted PALS at my mums local hospital to discuss that they seemed to have no way of marking someones records (in spite of much touted electronic records) that the person had serious expressive/receptive language problems and that communication should not be by phone - mum has dementia, but the hospital would ring up with appointments!

They were really good, had time to discuss the issue, and said they would discuss it and get back to me, which they did and said that it was clearly an issue for many patient groups and something would be implemented.

DreamRabbit Wed 19-Feb-14 14:06:21

I had a pretty poor experience with PALS at my former local hospital. I asked them to intervene when I was finding it impossible to get anyone to return my calls on an urgent medical matter - I'd been admitted via A&E and when I was discharged my consultant told me I needed a scan done within 2 weeks, and I was given an appointment 3 months away.

They said they worked via email and phone. I emailed... no response. I phoned and left a message... no response. I visited in person, and was rushed through my issues and told someone would call me back... no call. I called PALS and chased them up. In the end, I did get a call from the relevant medical department, but no one ever managed to explain adequately to me why my need had been downgraded from urgent to routine, and PALS never got in touch with me to follow up.

My treatment at that particular hospital was incredibly poor all round, so I don't know why I expected their PALS department to be any better, to be honest, though!

SpottyDottie Wed 19-Feb-14 18:52:54

I contacted PALS after my dads cancer treatment kept being delayed and he was unable to contact anyone. PALS contacted me within 24 hours of my email and then that same day the consultants secretary phoned me. So I think they were brilliant.

Mouldypineapple Thu 20-Feb-14 21:02:50

It's really interesting to hear your issues, and quite shocking in some ways how poorly some of you have been treated by both the hospitals and the PALS teams designed to help. Although really I'm under no illusions that any hospital is perfect.

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