"making an appointment "

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

(as the patient),

I was sent a Devon Access & Referral Team letter with a unique booking reference number

Firstly I anticipated making an appointment with my local hospital through the referral system

I followed the letter and waited 48 hours as instructed on the phone for the hospital to ring me and received no call

I rang the referral team again and was told this hospital Exeter RD &E had changed their system and not notified the DART team so there was no way they could make an appointment for me.

They gave me a telephone number to ring.

I eventually spoke to a member of staff who told me to ring another number, the member of staff would be available in 5 minutes until 5. 00pm.

I have rung 5 times each time waiting for nearly 10 minutes at no time has the phone been answered even though I was assured someone would be there to make an appointment before 5, . 00pm

I re rang the original number to be told that everyone had gone home and to phone again tomorrow any time between 8. 00am and 5. 00pm.

I am very disappointed in the service I have received today. I have spent the best part of the day trying to make a simple appointment via a system which is meant to provide a slick outstanding service to the patient.

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

Dear “Public Servant”

Thank you for passing on this feedback and I am sorry it had taken you so many calls to try and book your referral. I can fully understand your frustration.

Without your details to investigate, I’m afraid I cannot explain what has happened but if you would be willing to call us, we would like the chance to investigate further and give you a fuller answer as to what has happened.

If you would like to get in touch with us please call my colleague Susan Pearce on 01626 883 702. Susan works Monday to Wednesday, 8 until 4. If this is not suitable for you, our helpdesk is open from 9 to 5 Monday to Friday and their number is 01626 883 888.

Kind regards,

Response from Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Public Servant

We are really sorry that you have experienced these difficulties, and agree the standard of service you have received is not good enough, and not something we would accept.

In order that we can address your issue immediately and ensure that we understand what has happened so we can prevent similar episodes happening in the future please could you contact our Patient Engagement and Experience Department on 01392 402093. We will then look into your concerns.

Acting Assistant Director of Nursing

Response from Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford)

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience, and I am sorry to hear of the problems you have experienced. Our Choose and Book Performance and Development Manager has advised that patients should ring the DRSS 3 days after visiting their GP so they can have a patient choice conversation. Most of our services are bookable by DRSS, but there are some which are not bookable by DRSS. With these cases, the DRSS will pass the patient information to the RDE, who will contact the patient direct. However, in order to look into your specific case, we will require some further details. Should you wish to discuss your concerns further, please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on (01392) 402093.