"No record of my referral 18 days after my appointment"

About: Devon Referral Support Services Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly

(as the patient),

I attended appointments with a GP at Bere Alston Medical Practice on two seperate occassions seperated by 8 days. On the second of these appointments the GP said he would arrange a referral. I was advised to contact Devon Referral Support Services (DRSS), if I had not heard from the DRSS within 5 working days of my GP appointment.

I had not heard from the DRSS by some two weeks later, so I called them. I was told that there was no record of the referral. I went to the surgery, and I was told that the letter was sent on the day before the phone call. I queried why it had taken so long for the letter to be sent, when I had been advised to contact the DRSS after 5 working days from my GP appointment. The receptionist was not able to provide a reason, so I asked that the matter be raised with the practice manager.

A week later I called the DRSS again, only to be told that there was still no record of my referral. I went back to the surgery again. I was told that the referral letter had definitely been sent, and I should continue to wait until the DRSS contacted me. After waiting 18 days already, I did not feel that simply waiting longer was acceptable. I asked that the surgery contact the DRSS to resolve the matter. I also asked to speak with the practice manager, but he was not available.

Apparently the DRSS has contacted the surgery, and they have confirmed the letter has been sent and not yet received in the system. Meanwhile I have been told to wait until the DRSS contacts me. I have not been given any time limit. As 18 days have already passed, and I have already wasted my time contacting the DRSS twice and returning to the surgery twice, I do not feel that this is an acceptable situation.

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Responses

Response from NHS England

Thank you very much for your story, I have contacted the GP surgery today and Darren Newland the Practice Manager would like you to contact him on 01822 611650.

Thank you again

Nikki

Patient Experience Manager, NHS England

Response from Devon Referral Support Services

Dear ‘onlyonelikeme’,

I am so sorry that you’ve had such difficulty booking an appointment and I completely agree that this is not an acceptable situation. Please accept our apologies.

I hope by now that you have been given an appointment but if not, please would you phone our Patient Helpdesk on 01626 883 888 so that we can get you an appointment booked as soon as possible. They are open Monday to Friday 9 until 5.

Thank you very much for bringing this matter to our attention and if you feel that we can do, or should have done, anything further to help, please let me know either by replying to this post or by calling me on 01626 883 702. I work Monday – Wednesday, 8 until 4.

Best wishes,

Susan Pearce

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