"An incredibly frustrating experience"

About: Devon Referral Support Services

(as the patient),

I phoned the number and was kept on hold for 20 minutes. I must have heard how important my call was over 50 times which was incredibly annoying. When I finally got through, I was told I couldn’t make an appointment for a further week. Bear in mind I’ve already been waiting 2 months to get to this point. I then phoned them back again to be told that the first person I spoke to was mistaken about me having to wait a further week. To be fair the second person then phoned me back within an hour to tell me that Warneford would be writing to me with an appointment within 2 weeks. This whole process involved about 8 calls, 2 hours on the phone and receiving conflicting information from different staff members. This was all incredibly frustrating. It would have been so much easier if I could have phoned Warneford directly to arrange this.

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Response from Devon Referral Support Services

Dear Sun933,

Thank you for getting in touch to let us know about your experience of our service and I am very sorry that it was such a disappointing one.

I would like to apologise that you were kept on hold for 20 minutes; that must have been incredibly frustrating. We do our best to staff each time adequately and provide enough cover for the busy periods but, as I’m sure you can imagine, it can be difficult to accurately predict and so we do end up with long queues at times.

I am also very sorry that you were mis-informed about having to wait a week before booking an appointment. I am not aware of this being part of any of our processes so I cannot offer an explanation. If you would like me to investigate further, please feel free to call me on 01626 883702 and I will be happy to look into it for you. I work Monday – Wednesday, 8 until 4.

Patients are asked to phone DRSS so that we can offer a choice of hospitals and appointment dates and times. Unfortunately, some of the busier services can become fully booked from time to time, and we are unable to offer a choice of appointment date and time. When this happens, we pass the patient’s information on to the hospital of their choice and the hospital will contact them when more appointments become available.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Best wishes,

Susan Pearce

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