Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

Feedback and Engagement Team
Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
Bowyer Building
Torbay Hospital
Lowes Bridge
Torquay TQ2 7AA

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is a valuable source of information about which organisations can help, or if you have questions about what your care may involve.

PALS is available for patients, their families or carers. If you have been unable to resolve a problem by speaking with the healthcare staff directly involved, we can help you with your questions or concerns.

PALS is a service for anyone using the local NHS. Many problems, upsets and concerns can be sorted out locally and quickly by identifying the problem and trying to resolve it. Prompt action can stop problems escalating. After listening to your concern, we will discuss the options available with you and offer further assistance if required. If the problem is such that we cannot resolve the situation personally, we will put you in touch with the most appropriate person to help.

Do remember that you have the right to expect:

  • respect for your privacy, dignity and religious and cultural beliefs
  • protection of your right to confidentiality
  • access to appropriate services if you are disabled

Frequently asked questions

Before you contact us, take a look at our frequently asked questions to see if the information you need is there.

Waiting times vary for different services. If you have been waiting a long time to be seen, or for treatment, please contact Devon Referral Support Service on 01626 883888 or email to discuss your options. Visit My Health Devon for more information.

The My Planned Care website provides average waiting times for treatment across the south west.

Please do not contact the hospital or your GP to check where you are on the list as they will not to be able to provide you with this information.

Most clinics can only be booked by the hospital direct with you. Usually, your referral is sent to your nearest hospital and Devon Referral Support Service (DRSS) will write to you confirming where your referral has been sent.

If you have not received a letter from DRSS regarding your referral, please contact them on 01626 883888 or email to confirm whether the referral has been received.

Some of our services offer self-referral including our weight management service, drug and alcohol services and podiatry.

Look at our A-Z of services to see if self-referral is offered.

Yes. However, if you are expecting to receive a response, we will be unable to do this without your contact details. Please be aware that all our enquiries and complaints are treated confidentially.

Yes, please contact us to provide positive feedback and we will pass your comments on.

You can also complete our Friends and Family Test questionnaire if you have not done so already.

If you have received excellent care, service with a smile, kindness and understanding or exceptional service from one of our people or our teams why not nominate them for Our People’s Choice Award or you may wish to support our charity, Torbay and South Devon NHS Charity. Donations and funds are very gratefully received and help to improve and enhance care for current and future patients.

This is possible. You may wish to discuss this with or write to your current consultant. Alternatively, your GP may assist with the request if you talk to them. For further information or assistance, please contact our PALS team.

It is important to make your doctor or clinical team aware of any concerns you have about your treatment. PALS is unable to advise on clinical matters but can liaise with clinicians on your behalf. For further information or assistance, please contact our PALS team.

No. PALS is a confidential NHS service. We will not speak to anyone about you unless we have your permission to do so, except where this may affect your own or someone else’s health and safety. Your enquiry can remain anonymous, although to ensure that all concerns are bought to the Trust’s attention, records of all enquiries are kept. We regularly use this information to compile reports about the work we are doing, and the issues that patients are raising with us. However, all our reports are anonymised, and we take care to ensure that no enquirers can be identified. Information about you may be held in our database and you may at any time see the information the PALS Team hold about you.

The care you receive will not be adversely affected by speaking to PALS or raising a complaint.

The PALS team have a duty of confidentiality to our patients. This means that we will not share information about a patient without their permission to do so. This does not mean that we will not look into the concerns of relatives or friends about a patient’s care and treatment, but it does mean that we will not always be able to share the full results of our investigations.

Unfortunately, not. Please contact NHS Devon on 0300 123 1672 (Monday to Friday 9am – 4.30pm) or email

Please contact our Data Access and Disclosure Team who will be able to help you. See our Data Protection page or call 01803 654868.

Please contact our Data Access and Disclosure Team who will be able to help you. See our Data Protection page or call 01803 654868.

Please contact the ward where the patient is / was staying to make enquiries.

Queries regarding lost property can also be raised with our cashiers department on 01803 656555.

Please include the following information:

  • Your full name or the name of the patient whose property is lost
  • The patient’s date of birth
  • The patient’s post code
  • The patient’s hospital number (if known)
  • A description of the missing item

People who are eligible under the hospital travel costs scheme can book transport by calling our Patient Transport enquiry line on 01803 656777, weekdays (not Bank Holidays), between 9am – 3pm. Booking requests need to be received at least 48 hours before the day of travel to a hospital appointment.

You can check if you are eligible for this service on our Patient Transport Services page.

For people who are not eligible for the patient transport service, the South Devon Hospital Car Service is available for people who have no other way of getting to their hospital appointment because they are unable to use public transport and have no other available form of transport including family, friends, and neighbours. They must be able to get in and out of a saloon car with the assistance of only one person. There is a charge for this service. More details, including prices and booking details are available on our Patient Transport Services page.

For people on certain benefits, two thirds of hospital car travel costs can be claimed back from our cashiers department. Please contact them on 01803 656555 to find out if you are eligible.

Our bereavement team can be contacted on 01803 654818 Monday to Friday. You can find out more about the support and advice they provide on our bereavement services page.

You can call our switchboard 0300 456 8000 (local rate) or 01803 614567 and ask to speak to the travel and accommodation team. Or you can report an issue to our main reception team at Torbay Hospital.

You should make an appointment with your GP. Your GP is able to refer you to mental health services.

If you need urgent help or are worried about someone else’s emotional state, the First Response Service provided by Devon Partnership NSH Trust can help. The helpline is open 24/7. Call 0808 196 8708.

Mental Health Matters Devon provides a 24 hour, 365 days a year mental health helpline on 0800 4700317 as well as telephone advice and support at The Moorings.

For Torbay and Devon Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) call 03300 245 321 between 8am – 5pm and 0300 555 5000 out-of-hours.

Self-referrals are accepted from children / young people and their parents / carers.

Devon Partnership NHS Trust’s learning disability service includes specialist teams that can help support people with learning disabilities. You can find out more about how to access their services on the Devon Partnership NHS Trust website.

Children and Family Health Devon provides community services for children, young people and in their families in Devon (excluding Plymouth). The services include:


A PALS Officer is available Monday to Friday, between 9am and 4pm. Please contact them preferably by emailing the Patient Advice Liaison Service ( or in writing if at all possible; or by calling 01803 655838.

We also have the following information leaflets:

Advocacy support

If you require advocacy support, these organisations can assist you to provide feedback if required:

The Advocacy People
Tel: 0330 440 9000

Devon Advocacy Consortium
Tel: 0845 231 1900