"A Service that isn't joined up"

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART) Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) / Gastroenterology

(as the patient),

I live in the Bovey Tracey area of Devon. I had a referral to Gastroenterology regarding an ongoing condition.

I called the Devon Access and referral team (DART) in October and chose the Royal Devon and Exeter (RDE) hospital for my consultant's appointment. I was told to expect an appointment through the post within 2 weeks, but nothing arrived.

Since then I have been trying to get an appointment arranged, and I am still waiting after nearly 8 weeks. I was told the delay was caused because my GP did not include the results of my previous endoscopy with the referral, and was told to call my GP surgery. Having done so, the GP surgery insist that it has now been resolved, but still no appointment.

The DART team have given me two different numbers to call at the RDE, but staff there say my Choose and Book reference has no use and that I need an RDE number - and that they have no appointment booked for me. It seems like I go round and round in circles, and the call is now back with the DART team to progress.

The NHS just doesn't appear to be a joined up organisation.

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Response from Patient Engagement & Experience Administrator, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Mr Frustrated

Thank you for sharing your story and I am very sorry to hear of the problems you have been experiencing. We would like the opportunity to discuss this with you further and ask if you can contact the Patient Engagement and Experience Team on 01392 402363 or 403915.

Kind regards


Response from Project Support Manager - Devon Referral Support Services, Devon Access & Referral Team (DART)

Dear ‘MrFrustrated’,

I am so sorry to hear about the difficulty you have experienced while trying to get your appointment booked. I can completely understand why you are frustrated.

Without your details to investigate, I’m afraid I cannot explain what has happened but if you would be willing to call me, I would like the chance to investigate and ensure that you have an appointment in place, and also to give you a fuller answer as to what has happened. Having said that, whatever has happened it is clearly not what is supposed to and I am sorry for any distress that this has caused you.

My number is 01626 883702 and I work Monday – Friday, 8-4. If this is not suitable for you, our helpdesk is open from 9-5 Monday – Friday and their number is 01626 88388.

Best wishes,

Susan Pearce

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