"I thought I was arranging an appointment with a consultant"

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

(as the patient),

This experience is a bit like that of Mrs Frustrated....My GP found a slight irregularity in some test results, and wrote to a named consultant at RDE. But the letter didn't go to the consultant - it went to DART, whom i had to ring up. So I rang up, and eventually an appointment was found with the consultant (at a really inconvenient time). However, when the appt letter arrived from the RDE, I found it was not to see the consultant, but for an invasive test procedure, not mentioned in the telephone call, which would be for just one of the very many conditions that might have precipitated the test results.

It seems extremely strange to me to jump straight to this on, what I assume is, the basis of a non-medical reading of the referral letter when the chap the letter was addressed to has never even considered the situation.

I think there is a danger of inappropriate procedures being undertaken without any consideration of the actual content of the Gp's letter by a qualified person if this practice is pursued.

When I queried it, I was told (via the Gp's secretary), literally, that I could 'argue with the nurse when I got there if i was unhappy'.

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

Dear ‘Dismay’,

Thank you so much for getting in touch to let us know about your experience, we do appreciate the feedback.

Unfortunately, without further details it is quite difficult for me to comment on what has happened. I would be very grateful if you would be willing to phone me so that I can take some more information from you and look into the matter. The number is 01626 883888 and I’m here 9-5 Monday to Friday.

I can say that the decision to book you a diagnostic test would normally be made by a clinician, not a non-medical person, but I would like the chance to investigate further so that I can give you a fuller response.

Kind regards,


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