Getting the help you need – How PALS are supporting patients in Birmingham.Download (PDF 22.79MB)
Summary of report content
Healthwatch Birmingham’s report, published December 2019, highlights the importance of NHS Trusts PALS of involving patients in decisions about their care and as a means for Trusts to improve the patient experience.
Through an online survey questionnaire and telephone interviews, we heard from 87 patients, and their carers, about their contact with NHS Trusts PALS departments in Birmingham. Inconsistencies in services meant experiences were varied, but people told us that they value a personalised, inclusive service that is responsive to individual needs.
What do patients value?
People said they want:
- PALS to be better understood and more accessible for patients, carers and families.
- Better communications and information, particularly keeping people updated on their enquiries
- Better staffing and opening hours
- PALS to be more consistent and proactive in following up enquiries, and impartial when dealing with complaints
- Better staff attitudes and understanding of health conditions, especially autism and similar conditions
- PALS to involve more service users to give them more influence to make changes in NHS Trust
Improving people’s experiences of PALS
Following our investigation, Healthwatch Birmingham asked NHS Trusts to develop actions to:
- address issues that led to dissatisfaction amongst those who contacted PALS
- address issues that need to be improved to make PALS more effective
- design a process that ensures Trusts are hearing more feedback and are using it to improve both the patient experience and PALS systems
All seven NHS hospital and community Trusts in Birmingham responded and outlined the actions they intend to take. Actions are included in this report and a follow-up report is due over the summer.