Government is to introduce a new protocol and the setting up of a Patient Advocacy and Liaison Service (‘PALS’). The staff at PALS will be expected to act as intermediaries to hospital and clinical staff in order to assist patients and their families and ensure a swift turnaround of meeting requests and the resolution of queries and problems from patients and their families in a timely manner. Undertaken by the Ministry of Health, Care and Justice and Gibraltar Health Authority, Minister for Health, Care and Justice Neil Costa said that on taking up his new ministry one of his priorities was to improve the liaison and reporting structure between the general public and the GHA.
The Patient Advocacy and Liaison Service will be located on Level 2, Zone 4 in St Bernard’s Hospital.
“We all know how distressing it can be for patients and their families, if they have any difficulties to access services or meet with a doctor. The introduction of this new service will provide a point of contact for patients, their families and carers, where they will be able to receive confidential advice, support and information on health related issues and resolve any problems they may be experiencing quickly and in a friendly manner,” he said.
Mr Costa invites the community to provide him with any feedback and comments on the new service.
In a press statement yesterday, the Government said PALS would also provide advice, support and information to patients, service users and the general public to ensure optimum delivery of health care and services.
PALS will be the first point of contact for any person who has a concern or requires advice, information, support, or who is requesting a meeting.
“Whilst staff at PALS will assist and try to resolve any issues, if they are unable to assist, the individual will be referred to the relevant Departmental Contact Point. Such staff members have been nominated as the contact points for nursing, medical, staff and facilities issues.”
The statement added that the staff at PALS will also assist the public on how they can access GHA services, provide information about the GHA in general, departments, locations and contacts. They will also be able to provide advice on the Complaints Handling Scheme, including how to obtain independent help if a member of the public wishes to make a complaint. Information on sponsored patients, or any other department or service, will also be available.
PALS also aims to collect data about patient care problems, report to the appropriate departments, evaluate patient satisfaction and make suggestions for changes or improvements.
The Patient Advocacy and Liaison Service counter hours will be from 9am to 1pm (office 8am to 3:30pm Monday-Thursday / 8am to 3:00pm Friday). Telephone – 20072266 ext: 2102 or 2320 or 20007102 or 20007320 Email -firstname.lastname@example.org Website – www.gha.gi