"Comparitve slowness of a System."

About: Devon PCT

(as the patient),

last week I saw my GP. They recommended blood samples and an X-ray, and the blood samples were taken the next day.

I was told the results will be available the following working week. Can't complain there though I wonder why the weekends are sacrosanct when people get ill 24 hours a day.

My point is that I am not allowed even to ring up to book an appointment for the X-ray till the next working week. What sort of system is this in the 21st century. I would have thought a few clicks on the GP's computer should be sufficient to inform the appointments office so the GP can find out what is amiss and I can get well sooner.

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

Dear ‘Elvis’,

Thank you for your post and I’m sorry that you are unhappy with the service. Please also accept my apologies for the delay in my response.

I have looked into the matter and it would seem that systems vary slightly depending on which hospital a GP surgery sends their patients to, however, most seem to operate a paper system. This means that your GP will have sent a paper referral to the hospital and so asked you to wait a week to ensure that, by the time you phone to make the appointment, the paperwork had made it to the department and they could view your referral details.

I believe that the intention is to put diagnostic tests, such as x-rays and ultrasounds, on to the Choose & Book system in the future so that the appointments can be made electronically. Unfortunately, it simply isn’t possible for your GP to book these appointments at the moment.

I hope this helps to answer your question.

Kind regards,


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