"The system seemed easier like it was before"

About: Devon Referral Support Services

(as the patient),

I have just had to call to make an appointment for my foot at Barnstaple hospital. I used to just be told when my appointment was in a letter, which was so nice and simple. I don’t like this new system, where I have to call them to get an appointment – it seems like a waste of time, effort and paper.

They used to just send out your letter with your appointment, and you knew when it was and it was easy. Now, I’ve had to call them, only to be told they are really busy and I’ve been put on a list and they will let me know when I can make an appointment. What a lot of hassle! The system seemed easier like it was before!

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Response from Devon Referral Support Services

Dear Name689,

Thank you for getting in touch to let us know about your experience of using our service and I’m sorry that it didn’t meet your expectations.

One of the main reasons that patients are asked to phone the DRSS to book their appointment is so that they can be offered both choice of location and date/time of appointment, which hopefully means they will get an appointment time that suits them. Usually, patients would be offered a range of dates and times to choose from but it sounds like the clinic you need has become fully booked. Each hospital in the area puts appointments on the system as they have them available and we book patients in to them. However, if a particular service is over-subscribed we have no choice but to start a waiting list and pass your details on to the hospital that you have chosen. Once they have more dates available they will contact patients directly.

I’m sorry that you feel the new system doesn’t work as well as the old. We are continuously working with the local hospitals to try and make sure that as many appointments as possible are available and hopefully improve the service for future users.

Best wishes,

Susan Pearce

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