"Referral from my GP for a DEXA scan"

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART)

(as the patient),

My GP was fantastic, wrote to arrange the scan and kept me informed. She couldn't have been more helpful or considerate.

It went downhill from thereon. I received a letter from DART and rang to arrange what I thought was my scan appointment. I was somewhat confused by our conversation as first neither I nor my practice could be identified from the information I gave.

When I had been identified "by another route" I was then told that I had been referred to rheumatology and that the consultant's recommendation hadn't come back but that I would be rung as soon as they knew what was happening. Fine, I thought. My post arrived later the same day containing an appointment for the following week for the scan. I rang DART again who informed me that my appointment I was booking through them wasn't for a scan but for a consultant referral to a rheumatologist. I confirmed with my GP that she hadn't ordered this and now, after ringing DART, yet again, to cancel this consultant's appointment, they inform me that I have to see the consultant for him to agree that I can have the scan. But I've got the scan appointment already!

I then ring the department which has arranged the scan to confirm I actually do have an appointment booked on the date in the letter and the man who answers the phone says he's only manning the phone and can't access any information as the deparment's closed (16:00 hours).

Nobody throughout this process had any consideration for my time (which is precious and expensive), nobody apologised for my inconvenience. I still don't know if I've actually got a scan appointment booked and I find the whole experience a frustrating waste of my time. I'm capable of speaking out for myself, but I pity anyone who has to go through this farce if they are vulnerable or incapable in any way.

I am disgusted that our taxes fund such an incompetent service.

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

Dear ‘Sine’,

Thank you for taking the time to feed back to us your experience of using DART, we believe that listening to patient’s opinions is the best way for us to improve the service that we offer, and are very grateful for all the information we receive.

I’m very sorry that you have had such difficulty in trying to book an appointment for your DEXA scan and for the confusion around the rheumatology appointment. Without more details I cannot offer an explanation for what has happened but, if you would like me to, I would be very happy to look into the situation and try to find out what is happening. If you would like me to do this, please phone me on 01626 883888 – I work from 9 until 5, Monday to Friday.

Again, please accept my apologies for the inconvenience that has been caused.

Kind regards,


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