"Audiology appointment at Seaton Hospital"

About: Northern, Eastern and Western Devon CCG Devon Access and Referral Team (DART) Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Seaton Hospital

(as the patient),

I was referred by my GP to DRSS. They sent me a letter advising me to contact them to arrange an appointment. Because I had chosen Seaton Hospital they were unable to give me an appointment for that hospital. They said that Seaton would ring me direct. Two days later I rang Seaton Hospital who told me that I had to ring an Exeter number to book an appointment at Seaton. I did so and the answer I got was "Who is DRSS? we have never heard of them". I contacted DRSS again and they said that an organisation called, I think, Chime(?) would send me a letter advising me of an appointment at Seaton. I passed this on to Seaton Hospital by phone and they said had they realised I wanted an appointment at Seaton they would have told me about Chime themselves. What a run around. So now I have to sit and wait for another letter.

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Response from Gemma Smith, Project Support Manager - Devon Referral Support Services, Devon Access & Referral Team (DART)

Dear Bobb574,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us about trying to book your audiology appointment using the Devon Referral Support Services (DRSS). DRSS is here to offer patients choice of location, date and time of their first outpatient appointment. Unfortunately this was not as straight for you as it should have been and I would like apologise for this.

I would like to begin looking into your comments a little further and to understand what happened a little better. I would appreciate any further information you can give me about your referral to help me to do this. I work for the DRSS team and can be contacted on 01626 883712 or via email at g.tremlett@nhs.net. I will be able to provide a more helpful explanation early next week once I have spoken with my colleagues in the team.

Kind regards

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Response from Gemma Smith, Project Support Manager - Devon Referral Support Services, Devon Access & Referral Team (DART) We are preparing to make a change

Dear Bobby574,

Thank you for your email and sharing some further information about your referral with me, it has really helped to understand what went wrong for you.

It sounds like we did not fully explain the next steps of your referral as well as we could have. Chime carries out audiology assessments in multiple locations around Devon including Seaton, but their booking team is located in Exeter and therefore Seaton Hospital has no involvement in the booking process. The reason you were asked to wait for a phone call to book an appointment is because Chime require a small amount of time to review the information from your GP to ensure they offer the most appropriate appointment. I feel confident had you waited for your call Chime would have been in touch within the specified number of days and the process would have been a lot smoother from your point of view.

With regards to a further point in your email, you are asked to contact the DRSS team in order to discuss the full range of service available to you. Until we have read your referral letter we do not know which services would be appropriate for you and so this means we cannot provide contact details for individual locations until we have spoken to each patient.

We appreciate your feedback and we are sorry your experience was not a seamless as we would have liked. We are currently reviewing our booking processes and I will feed your comments into this to ensure we are clearer with patients in the future.

I hope this has been helpful to you.

Best wishes

Gemma Tremlett

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