"Limited hospital appointment booking"

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART)

(as the patient),

I have just waited over a week since seeing my doctor to get a letter through from DART (Devon access and referral team) to make the hospital appointment.

On ringing them they were very pleasant, however out of the 5 "local" hospitals, they can only do the booking for one of them. I now have to wait for them to send my details to one of the hospitals they can't book for and then wait again for hospital to send out a letter with a random appointment which I can't choose.

What is the point in this system?

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Response from John Tovey, Business Manager, Devon Access & Referral Team

Dear Kate2000

Thank you for taking the time to send us your feedback as it is very helpful for us to be made aware of patient experiences so that we can work on improving our service.

I am sorry to hear that it took a week for you to receive your letter asking you to ring DART. There are sometimes things that your GP will want to check before deciding whether to refer you to hospital, but not knowing the circumstances I do not know if this was the reason in your case. It would have been your practice that sent you the letter, so if you feel it should have been dealt with more quickly then please do let us know which practice you are registered at and we will ensure that this is fed back to them on your behalf.

I am pleased to hear that you felt the DART staff were pleasant. However, I appreciate that what you really wanted was the opportunity to get an appointment straight away at the hospital of your choice. The vast majority of services that we offer can be booked directly by DART. However, there are still some services at local hospitals that we are unable to book centrally. We realise that this is not as convenient for patients and are working with the hospitals to get these services set up so that we can book them from DART.

If there is a delay in you receiving your appointment please do contact us on 01626 883888 and we will be happy to follow it up for you. Also, if the appointment you are offered is not convenient then please do use the contact number in the letter you receive to let them know, as you should be offered the chance to change it. Again, if you have any further problems please do contact us on the number mentioned above.

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