"common sense"

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART)

(as the patient),

I was referred for an appointment which was duly made for middle of August. I went away for 2 weeks and returned to hear 5 separate messages during that first week of holiday, asking me to ring appointments.

On my return, I called, only to be told I had not attended the clinic. What clinic? I asked explaining my appt was in August and I had been away on holiday.

I was informed I would be given another appointmment, I heard nothing, rung again to be told as I didnt attend the clerk didnt know whether another appoimtment would be offered.

I called the consultant secretary and explained and was told yes I will be sent one. My GP then told me a letter had been received by surgery advising of my non attendance and I was discharged .

Surely if, someone has left 5 messages and not had a call back isnt this an indication that perhaps the patient was not available, and therefore little point in giving an earlier appointment.

Does common sense not prevail, more importantly, someone else was deprived of that appointment.

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Response from Susan Pearce, Project Support Manager, DART (Devon Access & Referral Team), NHS Devon

Dear ‘Junket’,

I’m very sorry to hear that you’ve had such a disappointing experience – this is obviously very far from the service that we aim to provide for patients. I’d also like to thank you for taking the time to let us know about this as it will help us to try and prevent this happening again.

I’m not sure that our team (DART) was involved in this as we would not be calling a patient to try and bring an appointment forward; that would usually be the hospital if anyone, but without knowing your details I can’t look you up on our system so I can’t be sure. Either way, it sounds like there was a good deal of confusion on the part of the NHS, none of which was your fault, and I’d like to apologise that you had to bear the brunt of that.

If you are still unsure of where you stand regarding your appointment, please give our helpdesk a call on 01626 883888 and they will be happy to get the situation sorted for you. Also, if you would like to discuss the general incident in more detail, please call the same number and ask for me.

Kind regards,


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