"Poor experience of Devon Referral support services"

About: Devon Referral Support Services Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford)

(as the patient),

Rang to be told referral letter sent to RDE. I was told to ring back four days later. I did that and was told it had come back but now re-sent to RDE as the DRSS can't make the appointment for the particular clinic and appointment will be sent to me from RDE.

Eventually, I rang the clinic in question. They didn't know what I was talking about and had not got the referral. Several days later, RDE rang, yes, appointment date in November, letter in post.

However, the appointment was for the wrong clinic. I rang RDE stating this, only to be told triage doc had stipulated that this was the clinic and I must must be seen in it. I refused the appointment, requesting they speak to the consultant the referral letter mentioned. This was done and consultant agreed I should not have been given appointment for that clinic and the DRSS should have made the appointment in the first place. However, an appointment for the correct clinic would be for after Xmas. I was offered another consultant appointment for the following day. Great. Today DRSS sent me a letter stating I had not yet rung them to make the appointment and must do so within 14 days! 1 right hand not telling left hand, not impressed.

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Response from Brenda Leaman, Patient Experience Lead, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Dear junket23

I’m very sorry to hear about your experience when trying to book an appointment. I am unable to comment on the confusion about which clinic you should have been booked into as you do not state which clinic this invovled.

If you would like us to look into this further please contact our Patient and Liaison Services department on 01392 402093 and we can take more details on the actual clinics involved.

Best wishes

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Response from Caroline Lee, Partnership Officer, Healthwatch Devon

Dear Junket23

Here at Healthwatch we are always keen to hear the voice of the consumer and how you have experienced services. It does appear that something has indeed gone wrong and we hope that you can resolve this directly with the provider. If you need any more advice, support and guidance, however, please contact us on 0800 520 0640 or email info@healthwatchdevon.co.uk. Alternatively you can leave feedback or request a call back on our website, using the "Speak Out" webform,

Yours sincerely

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Response from Devon Referral Support Services

Dear ‘junket23’,

I’m really sorry to hear that you’ve had such a poor experience trying to book your appointment.

I cannot comment on the confusion around which clinic you should have been booked into as this is a clinical decision taken by the RD&E and the DRSS is an administrative team.

The letter you received asking you to phone in was our fault and I apologise. These are sent out automatically if we do not complete certain fields on our database and it would seem that there was a typing error when we updated your records. Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please post again or contact me on 01626 883 702. I work Monday to Wednesday, 8 until 4.

Best wishes,

Susan Pearce

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