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PALS Officer

Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust
£28,407 to £34,581 per annum
Closing date
16 Jul 2024

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Other Health Profession
Band 5
Part Time
The postholder will manage, develop and deliver an effective PALS and GP concerns service for the Trust.

The postholder will provide comprehensive support to all Pathways, undertaking the triaging, administration, and monitoring of all PALS contacts in conjunction with PALS colleagues. This will also include managing database systems and to provide support in the production of timely and accurate reports.

The post will include managing the PALS processes within the Trust and to external agencies, liaising with Operational teams to facilitate prompt and effective resolution of concerns and enquiries, liaising with managers/enquirers throughout the PALS process ensuring that the PALS contacts are processed in line with Trust Policy, monitoring the progress of responses and providing feedback to enquirers on outcomes, including any actions.

Main duties of the job

The role will involve close liaison with the Complaints Team, Patient Experience Team, Commissioners, Acute Trusts, Directors, Assistant Directors, Heads of Service, Service Managers, and external agencies including MP's, the Care Quality Commission and Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) where necessary.

The postholder will also be required to handle telephone messages/calls from or to the enquirer, listening to concerns and summarising for progression through the PALS process.

The postholder will lead on promoting the PALS throughout the Trust and externally as required.

The postholder will prepare and present reports as required, attending meetings involving senior colleagues where necessary.

The postholder will also support the Complaints service as and when required.

The post holder will also support the Band 8a Complaints & PALS Manager with any other reasonable support requests commensurate with the banding of this role.

About us

NHFT is an integrated primary care and mental health Trust, providing physical, mental health and specialty services in both hospital settings and out in the community. Because we put the person at the centre of all we do, we focus on delivering care that is as easy to access as possible. This means many of our services can be provided at home, work or in schools.We also provide health services to various prisons and detention centres in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

NHFT promotes a culture of learning to improve the care and safety of our patients and staff, which focuses on people who enable our Trust to be 'outstanding' by supporting opportunity, innovation, development and growth.

Job description

Job responsibilities

The requirements of the role in detail are:
  • Initial point of contact for all enquiries relating to PALS.
  • Provide an impartial, frontline PALS service for NHFT.
  • To develop and provide an effective, accessible and resolution-based service to assist patients and carers with queries and/or concerns, passing investigations to the appropriate service area for action, monitoring progress, keeping enquirers informed, liaising with operational colleagues to expedite responses.
  • Support the team with reviews of the Trust-wide Complaints and Concerns Policy
  • Ensure that there are robust administrative processes in place to ensure all concerns are responded to in a timely manner as per policy.
  • Arrange and mediate resolution meetings between patients, carers, families and clinical staff in meetings.
  • Support the patient advocating in a speedy resolution, signposting and advising the patients advocate where required.
  • Contribute to the reporting and analysis of complaints/PALS/ MP concerns/GP concerns/General Enquiries to support delivery of Board and national reports, presenting in a range of forums including annual and public meetings through to Board level committees.
  • Produce analytical reports providing PALS/Complaints/GP concerns including key trends and develop effective workstreams and relationships with external stakeholders including commissioners, partner NHS organisation, Health Watch, advocates and regulatory bodies to support service developments in order to improve patient experiences.
  • Support any PALS Regional Network to link in with other voluntary and public organisations for sharing information and support.
  • To act as a catalyst for change, feeding back patients and carers views and recommending learning to share good practice and promote improvement of services.
  • Work in conjunction with the Complaints and PALS Manager to receive, develop and manage learning relating to concerns/enquiries and develop systems to evidence changes to practice as a result of PALS concerns
  • To have knowledge on the Department of Health, NHS complaints regulations, time frames and NHFT Complaints Procedure in order to advise staff, patients, families, carers on the complaints process providing a choice of resolution options.
  • Review, design and produce publicity materials promoting accessibility of the PALS service.
  • Ensure an easy read leaflet for PALS is available.
  • To manage highly emotive face to face meetings, phone calls on a frequent basis (with patients, families, carers and staff), often concerning distressing subjects in order to attempt to resolve concerns /queries raised.
  • Responsible for the improvement and development of the Trust-wide PALS information system to enable secure and accurate information is obtained in order to produce analytical reports and to inform dashboard reporting.
  • Formulating written responses as required for PALS resolutions on behalf of the Chief Executive.
  • Supporting, mentoring and training members of the PALS team and advising, supporting other Trust staff on the work of PALS.

GP Concerns
  • Manage the GP concerns service for the Trust, ensuring effective resolution and service improvements to support working relationships and quality of care communications with primary care services.
  • Regularly review and monitoring of GP Concerns Policy and ensure the information is shared with service leads for cascading.
  • Reviewing the GP concerns process with commissioners to enable assurance processes to be effective.
  • Work in partnership with local healthcare and social care organisations to ensure a system wide approach to resolving primary care concerns. Sharing concerns (with the consent) to the appropriate organisations.
  • Produce regular reports and meet with the Commissioners and GP Concerns leads as required to review the key themes and concerns raised.
  • Meeting with GPs as and when required, supported by the Complaints & PALS Manager as required.

Wider Patient Experience Responsibilities
  • Supporting teams on an ad-hoc basis with project work for example patient experience groups/listening groups.
  • Present information to forums and design and deliver training on patient experience feedback systems.

  • To ensure that national initiatives and frameworks are interpreted to enable the Trust to be compliant at all times.
  • Undertake benchmarking against local and national reports, audits and initiatives.
  • Develop networks at a regional level to take forward patient experience initiatives enabling the Trust to be a service leader in this area.
  • To design and deliver training to all disciplines within the Trust on ethos and effectiveness of PALS/Complaints and local resolutions.
  • Involvement in Patient Experience related projects.

Communication and Key Working Relationships

Key working relationships and communication will be with the following staff groups, but this list is not exhaustive:
  • hief Executive, Director of Nursing and other members of Executive Team
  • Patient Safety Manager
  • Complaints and PALS Manager
  • Assistant Director for Patient Experience
  • Head of Patient Experience
  • Directorate Management Teams
  • Clinicians, Senior Nurses, Professional AHP leads
  • Other healthcare professionals and non-clinical staff
  • Patients, families and carers
  • Patient representative organisations
  • PHSO, ICAS, national and local complaints network, advocacy services

Person Specification

NHS experience


  • 12 months NHS experience in a patient facing/administrative role



  • Educated to A-Level standard or higher

Experience of working under pressure


  • 12 months experince of working in a pressurised/stressful role.

Report writing


  • 12 months experience of collating and analysing reports

Supervising/training colleagues


  • 12 months experience of supervising/training colleagues

Communication skills


  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Employer details

Employer name

Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust


St Mary's Hospital Kettering

London Road


NN15 7PW

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