"Is TRAC paid for by the NHS?"

About: Tamar Referral & Appointments Centre

(as the patient),

I personally don’t see why a third party organisation has to be involved in making appointments. why don’t the NHS departments make the appointments as it is with them anyway? Isn’t this an unnecessary layer of admin? Is TRAC paid for by the NHS? Are employees employed under the same conditions as NHS staff? What is a strategic manager and why do you need one? TRAC staff should tell patients that they are the means of making an appointment instead of saying they are from Tamar Referral – who on earth would know what that means. Also TRAC staff don’t know Dr or consultants name which can be vital for some disorders and conditions to be dealt with.

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Response from Gemma Smith, Tamar Referral & Appointments Centre (TRAC)

Dear ‘Toy553’,

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us, I apologise for any confusion caused. I hope I can answer some of the queries you have raised.

The Tamar Referral and Appointments Centre (TRAC) is here to offer patients a choice of time and place for their treatment, wherever possible, and to provide information that patients may require before they make their choice. At TRAC we are able to offer appointments to patients based on the referral letter information given by the GP or other clinical professional. The service has been designed, and is overseen by, local GPs who feel that this service is the best way for patients to make their appointments.

The TRAC team is an NHS team and all staff members are part of the NHS local organisation, the team has been operating since 2009 and I would like to assure you we work within the current data protection acts and patient confidentiality policies.

With regards to the identification of the team, when taking and receiving calls we have processes to ensure we identify ourselves clearly on the phone as an NHS team, it seems as if this did not happen at the start of the phone call you had with the team.

The TRAC staff has access to relevant information regarding referrals using the Choose and Book system. When it is necessary to see a specific clinician your GP will add this as part of your referral letter and TRAC are able to relay this request to your chosen hospital. Where a named clinician is not identified the referral will be directed to the relevant specialty.

I hope that this response has gone some way to answering your questions but if not, please feel free to contact me again. Alternatively you can contact me directly on 01626 883712 on Monday to Friday from 9am until 5pm.

Best wishes

Gemma Tremlett

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