Patient Advice and Liaison and Complaints Services

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is here to help when you need advice and have a complaint, concerns or don’t know where to turn.

PALS acts independently when handling patient and family concerns, liaising with staff, managers and, where appropriate, relevant organisations, to negotiate prompt solutions. If necessary, they can also refer patients and families to specific local or national-based support agencies.

What can PALS do for you?

  • Listen to your concerns, suggestions and queries
  • Help sort your problems quickly on our behalf
  • Listen to your suggestions on how we can improve services and make positive changes
  • Offer confidential support, advice and information
  • Put you in touch with other local agencies that might be able to help

PALS may be able to help if your query or concern is about our services including:

  • Health Visitors and School Nurses
  • Community (District) Nurses
  • Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Podiatrists
  • Community Hospitals and Intermediate Care Services
  • Specialist Dentists and Specialist Children’s Services
  • Other Community Services

If you are unsure who provides the care that you receive then PALS can help you with this too.

We want to hear from you, whether you want confidential help and advice, have a comment, concern, complaint or compliment.

Contact PALS

Patient Free Phone 0800 011 6113 (local call 01707 388164) or fill in the online form below. Alternately you can email us at:pals.hchs@nhs.net  or write to them at:

Patient Advice and Liaison Service
Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust
Howard Court
14 Tewin Road
Welwyn Garden City
AL7 1BW

Our opening times:
We are open weekdays from 10am to 2pm. Outside these hours you can leave a message on the answer phone and the team will get back to you as soon as they can.

If English is not your preferred language you can choose to use a confidential interpretation service. If you require this information in an alternative format including braille on request, If you require this please contact us on 01707 388164.

 

Complaints

How do I make a complaint?

We try hard to get things right and provide a high standard of care and treatment. However, we recognise that sometimes things do not go as planned or are not to your expectations. It is important you tell us if you are unhappy with your care, the care of a relative or somebody you care for, or any aspect of our services.

Please talk to a member of staff in the clinic, ward or department where the problem arose. They will do their best to deal with your complaint and where possible, put things right in an informal manner.

Alternatively you can contact the Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS) on 0800 011 6113/01707 388 164 or by emailing pals.hchs@nhs.net. The PALS service is not part of the informal complaints procedure, but they may be able to deal with your concerns informally and they can tell you more about the formal complaint procedure and independent complaints advocacy services.

Making a complaint will not adversely affect your current or future treatment, or that of your relative or someone you care for.

Complaint service – contact details

The Complaints service can be contacted by telephone on 01707 388 036 or via email at: complaints.hchs@nhs.net. You can also write to us at:

Patient Experience Team
Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust
Howard Court
Tewin Road
Welwyn Garden City
AL7 1BW

Opening times:

We are open weekdays from 9.30am to 4pm. Outside of these hours please leave a message on the answer phone and the team will get back to you as soon as they can.

How will we handle your complaint?

We aim to acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days, if not sooner

We will discuss and agree with you how your complaint will be handled and the outcome you can expect, and when you can expect to receive this. If you are making a complaint on behalf of somebody, we will require signed consent from them, to take this forward on their behalf. A consent form will be sent to the patient for their signature so that the complaint investigation can begin.

Your complaint will be investigated thoroughly and in confidence, and in the event the investigation is likely to take longer than anticipated you will be contacted at the earliest opportunity to agree a suitable extension. 

After your complaint has been investigated we will send you a response in the format you have requested, for example by letter or email.

Information arising from the investigation of your complaint will be used to help identify areas of improvement in Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust services.

Can I get help to make a complaint?

It can be helpful to get in touch with an independent service for guidance and support about your complaint. NHS Complaints Advocacy provides free independent advice to people about the NHS complaints procedure and they can help you make a complaint.

The advocacy service, PohWER, can be contacted on:

Telephone: 0300 456 2370
Email: pohwer@pohwer.net
Fax: 0300 456 2364
Website: www.pohwer.net
Address: POhWER, NHS Complaints Advocacy, PO Box 14043, Birmingham, B6 9BL

What if I remain unhappy with the outcome of my complaint?

If you are not happy with the response to your complaint, in the first instance please contact the Complaints service or the named contact in your complaint response to discuss how we may be able to help.

If there is nothing further we can do to resolve your complaint you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to request an independent review of your complaint. 

The Ombudsman can be contacted on:

Telephone: 0345 015 4033
Email: phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk
Website: www.ombudsman.org.uk
Address: Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP

For further information regarding Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust complaints service, please read our Complaints leaflet which can be downloaded below.

PALS leaflet
PALS leaflet easy read version