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Area hospitals trial patient link service

Thursday, 3rd May 2001.

PATIENTS and carers are set to be given more say in the running of health trusts with a new healthcare liaison service.
West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trusts has been handed 58,000 to pilot the patient advocacy and liaison service (PALS), creating a human bridge between the trust's chief executive and users of NHS services.
Nick Court, communications director at the NHS executive Eastern Regional Office, said patients were always the most important people in the health service.
He said: "Care has to be shaped around the convenience and concerns of patients who must be given more influence over the way the NHS works. They will then be clearer as to where they can turn for help.
"While the complaint procedure is always an option, the new liaison service will allow patients' concerns to be handled quickly and in person. I know patients often prefer this in the first instance."
Before the end of June, West Suffolk Hospital will have a drop-in centre where PALS staff will give information about treatment and answer questions.
An on-line service giving information about the services available to patients and carers will form the second phase.
PALS will eventually be introduced into every health trust and primary care group in the country.
The hospital is among 11 in the region to pilot the new service and will give feedback to other trusts introducing their own patient liaison services.

Haverhill Weekly News

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