"Booking an apointment at North Devon"

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART) North Devon District Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

Terrible, went to GP about a completely seized Knee. He was fantastic, prescribed painkillers and told me he would refer me urgently. Three days later hadn't heard anything so chased the surgery. Finally next day the a letter came through asking me to call a number to book an appointment - brilliant, except it wasn't. When I called the number I was told as I lived in North Devon and the call was handled in South Devon that they had to return it to North Devon for triage then they would be advised what clinic to book, then they would call me, this would take a week (urgent huh?). Yep, N Devon to S Devon to N Devon to S Devon to me. If North Devon Hospital are telling the call centre when to book the clinic why can't they just tell me themselves? Complained and it got sorted immediately by N Devon - My suggestion would be to let the hospitals sort things themselves, I know for a fact that N Devon has it's own call centre, let the locals do it!

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Response from Gemma Smith, Project Support Manager, DART, NHS Devon

Dear ‘DD1234’,

Thank you very much for your feedback, we appreciate the time you have taken to express your view to us.

For Orthopaedic referrals going to North Devon District Hospital we have been asked by the hospital to have them triaged to ensure the patient is booked into an appropriate clinic. Normally referrals are triaged before patients phone DART and so we are able to offer a range of appropriate appointment dates and times. From the details you have given it sounds like normal process has not been followed in your case, but without more information it is very difficult to know what occurred.

I’d like to reassure you a strict record is kept of each patient’s waiting time and patients are all seen in turn and so your care will not have been delayed in any way.

I would be more than happy to investigate this further, but I would need some more details from you. If you would like me to look into this please contact me on 01626 883712. I am available from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

Best Wishes


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