"Devon Access and Referral Team (DART)"
About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART) Devon Access and Referral Team (DART) Exeter EX1 1PQ
Posted by tommyg (as ),
I have had two increasingly farcical experiences with DART.
In the first I was being referred for an orthopaedic consultation. My GP told me that I would be given a choice of units and I asked him which was the better considered in his opinion. After hearing his personal opinion I asked to be referred to Exeter RD&E but still had to go through the rigmarole of waiting for a letter, phoning DART and finally getting an appointment. I cannot see what possible value this is adding? My knowledge of current orthopaedic consultants in the South West is understandably sparse so why can't I defer to my GP?
Secondly, I have asked my GP for referral for a vasectomy several weeks ago. He dutifully referred me and specified that I should see another Dr at the same practice who does minor surgeries, presumably at the local hospital. Despite this seemingly simple setup the referral process still has to go through DART... Upon phoning DART I had to go through the usual process although notably I was not asked for my password.
After a few minutes I was told that I had come through to the wrong "side" and would I hold. After holding I had to give all the same details again, still with the password omitted (incidentally, I'm fairly sure that this was the exact same password I had 6 months ago for my knee). The operative then informed me that the Dr to whom I had been referred had no open appointments so would I like them to get the referral re-issued from my GP or go on a waiting list. I opted for the latter and waited a couple of weeks to receive a my appointment. With a different Dr. at a different Hospital.
This was followed a week after that by two further letters, the first informing me that there had been a mistake and my appointment had been cancelled and the second giving me details of my new appointment. With the same Dr. At the same Hospital. 8 weeks after the first.
Bear in mind that this is just for the counselling to make sure I really do want a vasectomy, the actual procedure will have to be booked afterwards. I seriously do not care who I get or where they work, as long as they have a white coat and warm hands I'm sold.
I do not understand how this benefits the patient nor who was asking for this in the first place. If it really has to be done can it please be done better?