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Patient advice and liaison service officer

Alternative titles for this job include

Patient advice and liaison service (PALS) officers give support, advice and information about NHS services.

Average salary (a year)

£19,737 Starter


£30,615 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm flexibly

How to become

How to become a patient advice and liaison service officer

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • working towards this role
  • volunteering
  • applying directly


You could get some of the skills you need for this job by doing a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Customer Service. This will be useful for dealing with complaints and mediation work.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More Information


You may be able to start as a patient advice and liaison service (PALS) secretary or administrator and work your way up to PALS officer.


A common entry route is through volunteering, particularly within the NHS. Some patient advice and liaison services are staffed by a mix of paid staff and volunteers. Contact the voluntary services co-ordinator or manager at your local NHS authority or trust for further advice.

Direct Application

To apply directly to become a PALS officer jobs, you'll need:

  • a good general standard of education GCSEs (grades 9 to 4 or A* to C) including English and maths
  • previous experience in a customer care or mediation role, including dealing with complaints

Some NHS organisations might want you to have a degree. Other employers may prefer you to have some working knowledge of the NHS. A background in a health profession such as nursing could be useful. Other relevant backgrounds are advice, advocacy and counselling.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about working in healthcare from Health Careers.

What it takes

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • knowledge of psychology
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • the ability to work on your own
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As part of your day-to-day duties, you could:

  • work with staff, managers and support groups to find ways to solve problems
  • help patients understand the NHS complaints procedure 
  • manage complaints
  • tell patients and the public how they can get involved in their own healthcare and with local NHS services
  • listen to patients' concerns, suggestions and experiences and raise these with people who design and manage services
  • provide information about how to get independent help with a complaint
  • supervise and coordinate PALS volunteers

Working environment

You could work in the community or in an NHS or private hospital.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

Career path and progression

With experience and possibly further study, you could progress to senior PALS officer or PALS service manager.

Current opportunities

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a patient advice and liaison service officer right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Access to HE Health Professions

  • Start date: 07 September 2021
  • Location: Poole

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Health Professionals)

  • Start date: 13 September 2021
  • Location: Macclesfield

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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