PALS: Volunteering with the patient advice and liaison service


Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust is a big organisation and it is important that we listen to patients, service users and their carers about their experiences to understand what is working well and where services can be improved.

So what is a PALS volunteer?

The patient advice and liaison service (PALS) is a free and confidential service provided by the trust to help anyone who is being seen by any of the trust’s services or if you are caring for a person using a trust service. The PALS can help if you need advice, information or have concerns.

The trust is introducing the use of volunteers to support the PALS team by helping staff run some of the current drop-in surgeries on our wards and community hospital sites.

The surgeries are an opportunity for inpatients to ask for information and advice, raise any concerns and share their experiences of receiving care from the trust.

The volunteers will be available to listen to inpatients which will help the trust to continually improve services and the experiences of inpatients. It is a patients choice if they would like to speak to a PALS volunteer about their experiences.

Each volunteer will treat all information they hear in a confidential and sensitive way according to trust policy. Patients will be asked to consider what personal information they disclose to the volunteer as they will not be a member of staff employed by the trust.

Who can volunteer?

The following people can volunteer with the PALS:

  • current patients or service users being seen in the community.
  • patients or service users discharged from trust services.
  • a person caring for a patient or service user.
  • members of the public.

Before a person can become a volunteer they have to go through an application process.

Each volunteer will work alongside and be supported by a PALS worker.

How do I become a PALS volunteer?

If you would like to find out more about becoming a PALS volunteer, then please contact a member of the PALS team on 0800 328 7971.

The time people give to volunteer is seen as a valued contribution by the trust to help to improve the services provided.

Contact details

If you would like to contact the PALS service for any information, or advice the contact details are listed below.

  • Address: Complaints & PALS Department, The Whiteleaf Centre, Bierton Road, Aylesbury, Bucks HP20 1EG
  • Freephone: 0800 328 7971
  • Email:

Service available Monday – Friday 9.30am – 4.30pm (24 hour answerphone)

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General guidance: Contact us

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Trust Headquarters,
Littlemore Mental Health Centre, Sandford Road, Littlemore, Oxford OX4 4XN

  • Switchboard: 01865 901 000
  • Email:
  • Website:

Become a member of our Foundation Trust:

Page last reviewed: 23 March, 2023