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What do you do if something goes wrong within healthcare?

The answer partly depends on whether you are a patient, a family member or carer, or whether you are a member of staff.

If something has gone wrong for you, or a loved one, then you can contact the local Patient Advice and Liaison Service (“PALS”). 

PALS “offers confidential advice, support and information on health-related matters” to you and provide a point of contact for you or your family. 

You can find the local PALS service by entering details at this website . You can also ask at your GP, hospital or call NHS111. 

PALS can: 

  • help you with health-related questions  
  • help resolve concerns or problems when you’re using the NHS 
  • tell you how to get mroe involved in your own healthcare 

PALS can give you information about: 

  • the NHS 
  • the NHS complaints procedure, including how to get independent help if you want to make a complaint  
  • support groups outside the NHS 

PALS also helps to improve the NHS by listening to your concerns and suggestions. 

For those working within healthcare there is a process called ‘speaking up’ which is designed to enable staff to talk “about anything which gets in the way of providing good care”.  This includes all staff who work in healthcare including any healthcare professionals, non-clinical workers, senior, middle and junior managers, volunteers, students, locums, bank and agency workers, and former employees. 

The National Guardian’s Office was set up as a response to a report by Sir Robert Francis QC (as he then was)  because he “found that NHS culture did not always encourage or support workers to speak up, and that patients and workers suffered as a result”. 

There are various routes to raising a concern, including contacting a local Freedom to Speak Up Guardian. A concerned member of staff can search for their Guardian here.  

They are encouraged to speak up about “something which doesn’t feel right, for example a way of working or a process which isn’t being followed, or behaviours of others which you feel is having an impact on the well-being of you, the people you work with, or patients”.  

Not everything that can go wrong in healthcare leads to a claim for clinical negligence. In fact, only a small percentage do so. However, if you, or a loved one are affected by clinical negligence then please do contact us for a no-obligation review. If we take your case on then we can offer a ‘no win, no fee’ funding arrangement.