"This system does not save anything and only puts in an additional layer"

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART)

(as the patient),

I waited for around 7 minutes to speak to an operator. Security checks were quick.

I was then offered a choice of hospitals for my first appointment and following making my choice I was advised that they would have to write to the hospital to request an appointment. Why couldn't my GP do this in the first place? Surely the idea of a central clearing system is that all available appointments should be know to the operator and my appointment made at time of contact? This system does not save anything and only puts in an additional layer to the system.

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Response from Project Support Manager - Devon Referral Support Services, Devon Access & Referral Team (DART) We are preparing to make a change

Dear ‘Fred23’

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us, it is very useful for us to know how patients feel about our service. DRSS is here to offer patients a choice of location date and time of their appointment wherever possible.

Unfortunately, on some occasions DRSS is unable to offer some appointments for the following reasons;

• There are some clinics that need to clinically review the referral information before offering an appointment date. These are known as clinical assessment services.

• In some cases the chosen provider doesn’t have any available appointments at the time of booking. However, DRSS can send all of the details to the providers waiting list for an appointment to be sent out once new appointment slots are scheduled.

I would like to reassure you that your referral will not have been delayed by calling us. Our staff should have also explained in full the next steps relating to your referral and if you feel this did not happen please let me know.

I hope this goes some way to explain why we were unable to book you an appointment in the first instance. DRSS has had similar queries raised in the past and we are currently working with our hospital colleagues to update clinical assessment services to offer patients appointments at their first phone call.

I would more than happy to look into your individual referral and discuss any concerns you might have, please feel free to contact me from Mon to Fri between 9am and 5pm on 01626 883712.

Best wishes

Gemma Smith