"Difficulty with DART"

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART)

(as the patient),

Received a letter from DART on asking me to phone one of 2 numbers to receive a hospital appointment. The first number is "no longer in service", the 2nd number "has not been recognised". This is still the case 3 weeks later.

Rang patient helpline and was told "the hospital know about you and will send an appointment in about 2 weeks".

2 weeks later I get a letter asking me to phone the number they gave me and am asked which hospital I wish to go to. After giving my preference I am told "You will hear from Exmouth Hospital after a week or so".

3 weeks after seeing my doctor I am still waiting to receive an appointment, all due to a misprinted official letter.

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Responses

Response from Devon Referral Support Services

Dear ‘Macdor’,

Please accept my apologies for the delay in my response. I am very grateful to you for letting us know about your experience and I am sorry it was such a disappointing one.

I am very sorry that you were not able to get through on either of the numbers given to you; that must have been incredibly frustrating. If you wouldn’t mind, I would be grateful if you could let me know which GP surgery you attend so that I can check with them that they have the correct details. I imagine that this was a one-off, however, otherwise I’m sure we would have heard from other patients by now.

It sounds like there was then further confusion around your phone conversations with us and I’m sorry about that. I think what happened (although I can’t be certain without more information) is that your referral was sent to the RD&E to be triaged ahead of your phone call with us. This is a new process and aims to have referrals looked at by a specialist before the patient phones in so that we can be sure we are booking everyone in to the correct clinic. The timing obviously didn’t work in your case and I think that is where the confusion has come in and I would like to apologise for this. As a result of your feedback I am going to double check that everyone is fully aware of the process that is in place so that this doesn’t happen again.

If you would like to discuss this further please feel free to call me on 01626 883702 – I work Monday – Wednesday, 8 until 4.

Best wishes,

Susan

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