"Lack of phone service availability"

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART)

(as the patient),

Received a confusing form from DART that didn't explain which of the two referrals it was referring to. Called the two numbers listed on it to be greeted by a recorded message saying 'closed for training until tomorrow' by one and 'not open until thurs 30th June' on the other. Nice. Not.

Can you really not have a single person manning the phones in this day and age? I bet you could if you were taking money from me rather than supposedly providing a service.

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

Dear ‘Schaa’,

Thank you for getting in touch and letting us know about your experience of using DART, patient feedback is very important to us and we do use it to try and improve our service.

I’m sorry that the form you received didn’t have enough information on it. The form is sent out by your practice and we would have expected them to put a note on it to explain which referral it was for. If you would like to let me know which practice you are registered with, I would be happy to pass this feedback on to them. You can post a reply to this message or contact me on 01626 883888.

I’m very sorry that you were unable to reach anyone when you phoned yesterday; I know it must have been very frustrating. Our office was closed for a training and team building afternoon which only takes place once year. We feel that this is an important event but unfortunately we were unable to schedule it outside of office hours and so had to make the decision to close for the afternoon. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience.

Kind regards,


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