Improving support for hospital patients who have problems with care

December 16, 2020

Improvements have been made to NHS trusts’ Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS) in Birmingham after people told us about their experiences of the services for our 2019 report “Getting the help you need – How PALS are supporting patients in Birmingham” Our follow-up impact report shows that all seven NHS hospital trusts have made changes based on this feedback, including:

  • Introduction of targets for responding to enquiries
  • Categorisation of calls to guide how cases are escalated
  • Case reference numbers for enquirers
  • Staff training in aspects of the service including data protection and mental health conditions
  • Introduction of a culturally sensitive PALS group and questionnaires to capture equality data

These improvements will ensure a better service for patients, with the benefits including:

  • Better continuity of contact and consistency in how cases are handled
  • Better response rates and a more seamless service across the trusts in Birmingham
  • Improved confidentiality and data protection awareness amongst staff
  • A more responsive and inclusive PALS with improved access for various groups
  • Improved staff understanding and awareness of the needs of various groups and health conditions including mental health, autism, sensory issues, language, young people and dementia
  • More patient involvement in improving services

Download the full impact report

Healthwatch Birmingham would like to thank everyone who shared their experiences with us, and the PALS team at all the NHS trusts who implemented our recommendations.