"The system for booking hospital appointments"

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART)

(as the patient),

Firstly I was sent a full two page letter with instructions on what to do to set up my hospital appointment. When I rang the Devon Access and Referral Team (who are the 'brokers' in this process) I was simply asked what hospital I wanted to go to. As I know nothing about hospitals I did not know what to say. They then started to name hospitals in Devon, none of which I know anything about. At no point did they mention waiting times - it was not until I rang my doctor's practice that I found out that they should have been informing me about waiting times.

If this is meant to enhance patient choice, it is not going to work. How can I make a choice if I have no information on which to base my decision? I would prefer it if my GP simply told me where he thought I should go!

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

Dear ‘Freyja’,

Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your experience of using DART, we do appreciate all the feedback we are given.

I’m sorry that you are not happy with the service you have received, we are here to offer patients a choice and to provide them with the information they require to make that decision and waiting times are a key factor for many patients. We should have offered you the range of appointment times available at the various local hospitals and let you decide which time and place was most convenient for you. This obviously did not happen and I apologise.

If you would like to discuss the issue any further, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01626 883888. I work Monday to Friday, 9 until 5, but am out of the office on Monday 8th August.

Kind regards,


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