"Use of 0845 numbers for Devon Access and Referral Team"

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART)

(as the patient),

I was sent a hospital booking through the Devon Access and Referral Team by my GP.

The booking could only be made using an 0845, premium rate, number and took six minutes to make.

I do not believe this to be in the spirit of the NHS.

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Response from Business Manager, Devon Access & Referral Team

Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your experience of using the Devon Access & Referral Team (DART).

All of our contact numbers are 0845 numbers. If you call from a landline (i.e. not a mobile) these are generally charged at the same rate as a local call. What you actually pay will depend on the call package you have chosen from your telephone provider. These days there are many different call packages available from different companies so it is not possible to say how much it would cost to call DART.

However, I can reassure you that these are definitely not premium rate lines. I can also confirm that the NHS does not receive any income from the calls made to DART.

I hope this information is helpful.

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Response from Susan Pearce, Project Support Manager, DART (Devon Access & Referral Team), NHS Devon We have made a change

Dear Bas,

I realise that it is too late for you but I just wanted to let you know that, as a result of feedback from yourself and other patients, we now offer patients an 01 number to phone as well as an 0845 number so that the patient can choose to use whichever suits their phone plan best.

So thanks again for contacting us, it helped to improve things for future patients.

Kind regards,


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