Patient advice and liaison service officer

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

Average salary (a year)

£22,000 Starter


£35,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm flexibly

How to become a Patient advice and liaison service officer

You can get into this job through:

  • working towards this role
  • volunteering
  • applying directly


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.

Volunteering and experience

A common entry route is through volunteering, particularly within the NHS. Some patient advice and liaison services are staffed by a mixture of paid staff and volunteers. Contact the voluntary services coordinator 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.

NHS Choices has a list of local NHS authorities and trusts.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about careers in this area from Health Careers.

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
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • working with staff, managers and support groups to find ways to solve problems
  • helping patients understand the NHS complaints procedure 
  • managing complaints
  • telling patients and the public how they can get involved in their own healthcare and with local NHS services
  • listening to patients' concerns, suggestions and experiences and raising these with people who design and manage services
  • providing information about how to get independent help with a complaint
  • supervising and coordinating 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

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

Training 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 Health & Social Care Professions - Social Science

  • Start date: 14 January 2019
  • Location: PRESTON

Access to Health Professions (Nursing)

  • Provider: Nelson and Colne College
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Nelson

Get help using this service

Call 08000 150 950

8am to 10pm, 7 days a week

More ways to contact us

Is this page useful?

Yes No