"Waiting in for a call"

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART)

(as a relative),

Telephoned DART to arrange an appointment with a Gynaecologist at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital after referral by my GP.

I was told by the telephonist to wait for a telephone call from a Specialist Nurse within three days,

After waiting in for the promised call for eight days, I was telephoned, not by a specialist nurse, but by another telephonist and given an appointment with the consultant. Eight days wasted?

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

Dear “recce”,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us, and I would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

For certain Gynaecological referrals going to Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital we have been asked by the hospital to have them triaged to ensure the patient is booked into an appropriate clinic. While it will delay the appointment for a few days, it is designed to ensure that you do not waste your time attending the wrong clinic.

Normally after a patient has contacted DART, the referrals are triaged by a specialist nurse who will respond in 3 workings days’ time with a decision as to the most appropriate clinic. A member of the DART team will then contact the patient so we can offer a range of appropriate appointment dates and times.

I can only apologise that you were not contacted earlier, we do not advise that patients wait in for any return calls and apologise if this is the impression you received, as we will keep trying if we miss you at first. 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 would like to investigate further for you and so, if you are willing, I would be grateful if you could give me a call with your details so that I can look into what happened. My phone number is 01626 883712 and I work Monday to Friday, 9 until 5.

Kind regards


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