"DART appointment booking"

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART) Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford)

(as the patient),

When my G.P. suggested a specialist referral I expected to be sent an appointment by post or to be contacted by telephone.

Instead I received a leaflet from DART asking me to phone an 0845 (local charge) number to make an appointment. I phoned at 2.30 on a Thursday and got a welcoming message and was put on hold, listening to music, for 8mins. 50 secs after which i got a message saying I had reached someone's mail box and should leave a message! I rang off and phoned again.

I got through quite quickly to someone who suggested I make an appointment at Torbay hospital and put me on hold (with music again, for a couple of minutes).

As all my previous treatment was at RD&E Wonford I asked for an appointment there and was told this would have to be made by the consultant's secretary who would contact me - which was just what I had expected in the first place. What on earth is all this about? The old system seemed to work just fine and the added bureaucracy, letters, postage and phone calls seems a total waste of time.

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Response from Susan Pearce, Project Support Manager, DART (Devon Access & Referral Team), NHS Devon

Dear ‘BDDG’,

Firstly, thank you for taking the time to send us your feedback. It is always useful for us to hear from patients how the service is working so that we can try to improve things where necessary.

Secondly, I’m sorry that the system hasn’t worked very well in your case; it sounds like you had quite a frustrating experience overall and I can understand why you’re not terribly happy with the service. What you’ve described is not how our process is supposed to work and, if you’re willing, I’d be very grateful if you’d give me a call so that I can get some more details from you and investigate this further. If you call our helpdesk on 01626 883888 they can put you through to me. If you don’t want to call I completely understand and please be assured that I will still use your feedback to do what I can to improve things.

Kind regards,

Susan Pearce

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