"Given an appointment with the wrong consultant by DART, and now I can't get through"

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART)

(as a service user),

I was given a number to ring DART a few weeks ago to book an appointment with a consultant to look at a potentially dangerous blood clot.

Nearly 4 weeks later I have been contacted with an appointment with the wrong consultant. I have been trying to contact DART to rectify this, but I cannot get through as it says they are closed today for training. I find this unacceptable, particularly as I have an urgent medical condition and need to see a doctor as soon as possible - I won't accept being shunted to the back of the queue again.

I feel like this has been a complete waste of time, all I want to do is ring the hospital directly to book an appointment - at the moment I cannot seem to speak to anyone.

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Response from Care Opinion

Posting published on behalf of the Devon Access and Referral Service:

Dear ‘Level64’,

Thank you for taking the time to share you comments with us about the DART service. I apologise that this response is delayed, it seems there have been some technical issues and I hope this is not too late to assist you.

Unfortunately, there occasions when some services at local hospitals that become fully booked. When this happens, we pass your details onto to the hospital in question for them to send you an appointment as soon as they can. I realise that it is very frustrating to have to wait a long time to receive an appointment and we are aware of this issue and raised this with the hospitals we work with. I can assure you that all patients will be seen in turn as a record is kept of when your referral is made so each patient is seen in turn.

With regards to your phone call, at times DART staff members are required to attend training sessions to remain up to date with local service details so we can advise patients appropriately. We use an automated phone system to deliver a training message during this down time and it should have offered you the facility to leave an answer message and a team member would return your call. I apologise that you tried several times and could not get through. I hope that your efforts were not in vain and you were able to speak to a member of staff to help get you to the desired consultant.

I would appreciate the opportunity to look into this further to understand what went wrong for you and ensure that other patients do not experience the same issues. 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.

Best Wishes


Gemma Tremlett

Project Support Manager

Development Team

Devon Access & Referral Team (DART)

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