"Waiting on the phone for a long time to make an appointment with Sentinel"

About: Sentinel Healthcare Southwest Community Interest Company / Referral & Appointment Booking Team

(as the patient),

In my GP's explanation of referral, Sentinel was never mentioned at all. As I am new to the area and this is my first referral I had never heard of Sentinel.

When I managed to get through on the phone everything was handled to my satisfaction.

But it took three attempts at telephoning and waiting 5-10 mins in a queue before this happened. (Not sure that someone else - in full time work for example - would be able to manage that, and they don't even tell you where you are in the queue!).

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Response from Rachel Newport, Sentinel Secretarial Support, Sentinel CAS, Sentinel Healthcare CiC We are preparing to make a change

Firstly, we would like to thank you, for the time you have taken to provide this feedback. We were pleased to hear that the service you received from the Sentinel Referral Booking team was handled to your satisfication.

In relation to your personal experience at your doctor's surgery, we would like to try to address. If you would like to provide more details we could take this matter up directly with the practice concerned, we would suggest you should speak directly to Michelle Fogg (Sentinel Operations Manager) on 01752 437262.

You will be interested to learn that it is our intention to run a Sentinel Awareness Campaign with all general practices across Devon, reminding them of the importance of explaining to patients the role that Sentinel plays in the referral process.

The Sentinel team do have a call-back service in place which allows patients to leave a message for the team, who will then ring back as soon as possible. We are also able to monitor all telephone calls with regards to the number of calls waiting and those that are abandoned, so we do appreciate patients are waiting and understand how frustrating this can be. In light of this, we are currently reviewing all our telecommunications, in the hope of improving our service for patients.

Thank you again for raising our awareness to this problem.

Best Wishes,

The Sentinel Team.

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