"PALS do more than Patient Opinion"

About: Patient Opinion Worthing Hospital

(as the patient),

Having seen the article in the Guardian from Paul Hodgkin, a Sheffield GP, I would like to bring to Dr Hodgkin's attention that the Patient Advice and Liasion Service (PALS), based in every NHS Trust, including Primary Care Trusts, do all that Dr Hodgkin's claims for his website plus a lot more. Not only that, patients and carers who want to comment can actually talk to a person, face to face, on the phone, e-mail them or contact from the website. They get listened to, helped and they even get feedback. Provides a lot more than a website, I would say. Perhaps Dr Hodgkin could really help his patients by telling them about PALS.
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Responses

Response from

You’re right PALS are a really good service that do things that we at Patient Opinion can’t do – and don’t aim to do. That’s why we give the contact details of every PALS office at every Acute Trust that we cover on our website. And why we recommend people to contact their PALS if they have a complaint or want to give feedback or talk to someone at the Trust in person. So we agree there is much more to effective feedback than just Patient Opinion. Just as there is much more to it than just having a good PALS office. There are several things that do make Patient Opinion unique however. Firstly it enables public structured conversations about those micro aspects of service that so often make a difference to the patient experience. And being public does several things. Firstly it means that Trusts can highlight to their public what they have done in response to patient suggestions. Secondly it increases the power of the patient voice simply by making it public. Finally it enables a range of other organisations to join the conversation by postings comments up. So for example we are beginning to get comments from PCTs. We are also getting information about Practice Based Commissioning organisations as well as the Trust itself. And so we will be giving national patient groups the ability to post comments about relevant opinions. None of this detracts from or replaces the great work that PALS staff do. But hey, it is different and does (we think) add worthwhile new perspectives to the mix.
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