Concerns, comments and compliments

PALS provides on the spot help when and where you need it…

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is a service for anyone who needs help or information while using our hospital services.

If you have any questions, problems or concerns about your care or the care of the person you are looking after in relation to:

  • An outpatient or clinic appointment – you can contact the consultant’s secretary via the trust’s switchboard or our online directory
  • Inpatient experience – you can discuss this with the nurse in charge, ward manager or matron who would be happy to talk this through.

If you have not been able to get the answers you needed or do not feel comfortable speaking with the clinical staff you can contact us and we can help you to obtain answers to your queries.

PALS service James Cook The service is free and completely confidential.  If we cannot help you immediately, we will take details of your problem and ask the relevant department or ward to contact you. If the concern you bring to us is about another trust we will contact the relevant trust so that they help you, or we will give you the information you need to contact the correct trust.

What PALS can do

  • Give on the spot help for patients, carers, families and friends -If you are worried about any part of your own, your friend’s or your family’s care we can help to sort the problem out or tell you who can help you. We can help with any problem big or small.
  • Give you information – We can tell you about the services available within our trust. We can also tell you how to make a formal complaint about the service you have used.
  • Tell you where to get help – There are many organisations such as local support groups and voluntary groups that are able to give you advice. PALS can tell you about these groups and how you can contact them.
  • Refer you to independent advocacy services – PALS have details of all local advocacy agencies that may be able to support you.
  • Listen to what you think of our hospital services – If you have anything to say about the service you have received then you can tell us. We will make sure this information is used to improve patient care in the future.
  • Take details of praise and compliments you wish to pass on in relation to the care and treatment you have received.

What we cannot do

  • We cannot offer a counselling service
  • We are unable to give you detailed medical information or a medical diagnosis
  • We are unable to change or affect a medical decision that has been made
  • We are unable to book/change any appointments


PALS can take details of compliments or positive feedback you wish to pass on to a member of staff, ward or department, and can also give you further information relating to the Thank You Awards and the Nightingale Awards which recognise and award trust staff’s commitment and achievements. You can send compliments to and the PALS officers will pass onto the relevant team.

How to contact us

The PALS team is based at The James Cook University Hospital site in Middlesbrough.

Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm. You can ask to speak to us on the telephone at the main reception of any of our hospitals, or you can contact us directly via telephone, post or email. We can also arrange to meet with you at The James Cook University Hospital, either on the ward or at north or south reception where we have quiet rooms which provide privacy and confidentiality.

Call us

The team can be contacted on freephone: 0800 0282451 or on 01642 854807 

If you get through to an answer-phone we apologise, but this is sometimes unavoidable. It happens when staff are answering another call, or are temporarily out of the office. Please leave a message and a contact number and we will endeavour to contact you by the next working day wherever possible.

Write to us

Complaints service James Cook
Patient Advice and Liaison Service
The James Cook University Hospital
Marton Road

Email us


For PALS enquiries, we require verbal consent from the patient wherever possible, to ensure they are happy for us to investigate the issues raised, and also that they give their permission for us to discuss their medical details with the person raising the enquiry. We can obtain verbal consent from the patient by telephone, or we can visit them on the ward if they are an in-patient at The James Cook University Hospital.

Is the service confidential?

  • Yes – we will only pass your information on if you give us permission to do so.
  • Your care, or the care of the person you are enquiring about, will not be affected if you come to us for help.
  • We will keep records of your enquiry for monitoring purposes, you are welcome to see these records at any time.

Our team

Advice service James Cook

  • Margaret Robinson – PALS Officer
  • Sally McMaster – PALS Officer
  • Su Wilson – PALS Officer

Your enquiry will help improve trust services, and we are interested to hear what patients and carers think of our services.

Download our PALS leaflet (119kb)
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