"Appointment trouble for a routine Colonoscopy"

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART) Tiverton and District Hospital / Endoscopy

(as the patient),

Needed a routine colonoscopy.

GP sent referral, 4 weeks later received a letter on how to "choose and book". Called the number at C&B and was told I needed a code from my surgery. Called the surgery was told that the code was not available for that type of procedure and I would be put on a waiting list and contacted.

Another 4 weeks no contact received, so called surgery and they put me in touch with the endoscopy unit at Royal Devon and Exeter Hosp. Told I was on the waiting list and it would be unknown weeks before I could be seen, but if I was willing to go to another hospital the procedure could be done within two weeks.

I chose Tiverton Hospital and everything went very well. The staff and consultant at Tiverton were fantastic. The process to get there was completely inefficient and from a management standpoint was certainly not value for money.

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

Dear ‘jf’,

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

I am sorry to hear your experience was not a pleasant one and can only apologise the process was not as efficient for you as it is for many patients using DART. For any patient being referred, the GP Practice should provide the patient with a letter, within a few days of you seeing your GP, containing instructions on how to contact the DART team. It sounds as if you did not receive this information and as a result your referral appears not to have followed the normal process. Had you received this letter it would have explained how to contact DART who would have offered you a choice of hospital and appointment date and time convenient to you.

From your explanation it certainly sounds as if your referral did not follow the normal process. However, without a bit more detail I cannot be sure what happened. I would love 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.

Many thanks

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