"Telephone booking"

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART)

(as the patient),

This is the first time I have used D.A.R.T.my experience is one of poor service

an 0845 number premium rate, I was holding on for 4mins even though I was 1st in line to be answered. then it took 16mins to get an appointment.

In my opinion the service before this was introduced was very good, why change?

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

Dear Dominic,

Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback regarding our service. Opinions from patients who use our service are always welcome and we do try to use them to improve our services.

I’m sorry that you have not been left with a good impression of DART, it does sound like you were on the phone for an unusually long time (most of our calls are dealt with in approximately 6 minutes) so apologies for that. I can only imagine that there were technical difficulties during your call as the Choose & Book system that we use has been having problems lately that have affected the whole country. Regardless of the cause, I can imagine that it was a very frustrating call for you and I’m sorry about that.

In answer to your question about the change in the booking system, DART was set up to ensure that all patients were offered a choice of hospitals and to answer any questions that will help the patient make that decision. For example, some patients may choose to travel further in order to get a sooner appointment or they may choose a hospital on the other side of the country in order to be near a loved one.

Regarding the 0845 number I can confirm that it is not a premium rate line but is charged at local rate when called from most phones. However, we realise that not all patients call from landlines and so we recently introduced a second number for patients to call that begins 01626 – your GP surgery should have given you both so that you could choose which suits you/your phone contract better. This obviously didn’t happen in your case and if you would like to reply to this post and tell me which GP surgery you are registered with I will be happy to give them a call and remind them about the second phone number.

Kind regards,


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