"DART - felt like a complete waste of my time"
About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART) Devon Access and Referral Team (DART) Exeter EX1 1PQ Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) / Cardiology Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) Cardiology EX2 5DW
Posted by Pete M (as ),
For the second time in a few months I have had a referral handled by DART (Devon Access and Referral Team). The first time I was told they didn't have my information from my GP but I would be contacted with an offer of an appointment, but if I hadn't heard within 4 weeks, to call another number which they gave me at the time.
I was never contacted and subsequently lost the number I was given. As it happens (and perhaps fortunately) the medical need for that appointment seems to have subsided.
I recently returned to my GP and asked for a referral to my cardiac consultant as I was concerned about my heart (after a long history of problems).
My GP did an ECG which confirmed quite significant atrial fibrillation so they set the process in motion. Siily me was expecting an appointment to see my consultant (who has been treating me for over 9 years) but,no, another letter from DART and another phone call and another "you should hear something within 2 to 3 weeks but if you don't please call us back".
Frankly this is just ridiculous, whatever happened to the old simple process of the GP writing to the consultant for a referral and the appointment arriving in the post within a couple of weeks. It still seems to happen like that in some cases, but not in others.
This seems to me just like a totally unnecessary bureaucratic layer in the NHS at a time when costs are absolutely critical. For goodness sake abandon this silly idea and get back to the way it used to be which was much more efficient and patient friendly.