"Booking an appointment through DRSS Newton Abbot"

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART)

(as the patient),

In May I rang DRSS at Newton Abbot as per the appointment request form to book an appointment to be seen by the Rheumatology Team. I was advised there were no appointments, my details would go thro to Paignton my choice for the appointment and my details would be kept for when appointments were available and an appointment would be made.


Early June I had to check Paignton Hospital had my correct details as I had not heard anything and my pain was/ is getting worse. Details confirmed and advised to contact the secretary of the Rheumatology Team if I was concerned. GP upped my pain meds and I carried on. Not wanting to be a nuisance and thinking how busy they were with no appointments available.

Today as the pain is getting worse and I had not heard anything re an appointment I rang the Secretary to be advised my details had not been received and I was not on the system there had been and were appointments available and advised me to contact DRSS,

This I did to have it confirmed that my details had not been put on the system.

I have been waiting all this time with my symptoms deteriorating and having to take stronger pain killers for an appointment in effect I would never have received.

This is totally unacceptable.

An appointment has been made for early September which is way over the 11 weeks timescale as per secretary advised patients have to be seen by.

I advised I wanted to make a complaint, I was given a contact number for PALS. I rang this number to be told it was the wrong number I had been given the Exeter number. They gave me the correct number and I have left a message for them to contact me which they say will be within two days

So my experience of booking an appointment with DRSS has definitely not been a good one..

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Response from Patient Experience Lead, Patient Quality and Safety, South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group

Dear Busylizzie

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience, I am sorry that the experience you had has not been a good one.

We would be happy to investigate what has happened in your case. If you would like for us to do this, please contact the Patient Experience Team by email to: patientfeedback.sdtccg@nhs.net or call 01803 652 578.

Kind Regards

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

Dear “BusyLizzie”

Thank you for passing on your feedback, I am extremely sorry that your experience of DRSS has not been a good one. I completely understand your frustration and am pleased that you have managed to book an appointment at last albeit a late one.

Unfortunately, without your details to investigate, I’m afraid I cannot explain what has happened. However, if you would be willing to call us, we would like the chance to investigate further.

If you would like to get in touch with us please call my colleague Susan Pearce on 01626 883 702. Susan works Monday to Wednesday, 8 until 4. If this is not suitable for you, our helpdesk is open from 9 to 5 Monday to Friday and their number is 01626 883 888.

Kind regards,