"2 week referral that is now closer to 3 months"

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART)

(as the patient),

In April, as I was leaving my doctors appointment, the doctor said that they'd like to refer me to see someone at Devon Hospital.

As far as I am aware, the doctor then forgot to refer me because it wasn't until I chased it 6 weeks later that the referral process was set in motion.

I received a phone call from a very pleasant lady who tried to make me an appointment at Tavistock Hospital - which would have been really handy as it's close by. The appointments wouldn't show on the computer system, so the lady said she'd call me back. When she called me back, unfortunately the appointments were still not showing on the system so she said she'd call me back again.

My next phone call informed me that DART are not able, and perhaps have never been able, to book appointments at Tavistock hospital, so I would be put on a waiting list for the other hospitals in my area, fine, and someone would call me back about it.

The next thing that happened was a phone call from Barnstaple Hospital, offering me an appointment in July. This would have been fine, but Barnstaple hospital is very inconvenient for me, so I declined this appointment in the hope that someone more convenient would come up.

My doctor then told me that all in all, this should have been a 2 week referral! I'm now waiting to hear from Plymouth Hospital, I have not heard anything back and it's nearing 3 months since my original doctors appointment.

Having had this experience, it's my belief that the DART system is not efficient.

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

Dear ‘Ceramic575’,

I am very sorry to hear about the trouble you’ve had trying to get an appointment. I am confused as to what has happened with your referral and would be very grateful if you could phone me so that I can take some details from you, investigate what has happened and ensure that you get an appropriate appointment booked ASAP. Also, this is not how referrals are usually processed and I would very much like to get to the bottom of these events and try to stop anyone else having to go through the same experience.

My phone number is 01626 883888 and I am here from 9 until 5, Monday to Friday.

Kind Regards,


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