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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)

£23,000 Starter


£35,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm flexibly

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Patient advice and liaison service officer

You can get into this job through:

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


The Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Customer Service teaches useful skills like dealing with complaints and resolving patient issues.

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 can gain some of the skills and knowledge you need through:

  • a Customer Service Practitioner Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • a Customer Service Specialist Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship

You can search for NHS customer service apprenticeships on NHS Jobs.

Entry requirements

To get onto an apprenticeship, you'll find it useful to have:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

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.


It can be possible to enter this role through volunteering, especially 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 or go directly to your local PALS services.

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 or may prefer you to have some working knowledge of the NHS.

A background in any of the following professions could be useful:

  • healthcare
  • advice
  • advocacy
  • counselling

More Information

Career tips

When applying for jobs, you'll be expected to show an understanding of how NHS values apply in your work.

Further information

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

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • active listening skills
  • 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
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could:

  • work with staff, managers and support groups to solve problems
  • help patients understand the NHS complaints procedure
  • manage complaints
  • raise patient feedback and concerns with NHS management
  • 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

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

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

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Patient Liaison Apprentice

  • Wage: £9,984 a year Annually
  • Location: BILLERICAY

Apprentice Customer Service Advisor

  • Wage: £13,312 a year Annually

Courses In England

Access to HE - Health

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Leamington Spa

Access to HE Diploma (Health)

  • Start date: 19 September 2024
  • Location: Ashton-under-Lyne

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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