Projects per year
Background The English National Health Service Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) was set up to provide patients and their relatives with a way of obtaining information or expressing concerns about their health care. This study examined children's, young people's and parents' access to and use of PALS, and how this could be improved.
Methods Qualitative and quantitative methods were used to obtain the views of children, young people, parents and PALS staff, on the inclusiveness of the service. These methods included discussion groups and interviews with 30 young people and 16 parents; a postal survey of PALS users, to which 171 (21%) parents responded; and telephone interviews with 14 PALS staff. The data were analysed using qualitative and quantitative methods, and the views of participants on key topics were examined.
Results Children and young people were found to be low users of PALS, but thought that the service was potentially useful. They and parents and PALS staff all highlighted ways in which access to and use of the service could be improved. Participants' views on the following topics are reported: awareness of PALS existence and role; access to and use of PALS; effectiveness of and satisfaction with PALS; and training of staff.
Conclusions and recommendations Patient Advice and Liaison Service has not been designed and developed in ways that are fully inclusive of children, young people and parents. Based on their views and experiences, and the suggestions of PALS staff, the authors recommend that access to and use of the service could be improved, increasing awareness of PALS, facilitating access to and use of the service, providing training for PALS staff on dealing with young people and their issues, and developing links between PALS and other organizations that deal with young people and parents.
- children and young people
- healthcare decision-making
- Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
- user involvement