"Devon Access and Referral Team "
About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART) Devon Access and Referral Team (DART) Exeter EX1 1PQ
Posted by edb (as ),
I went to see my GP about a problem that needed a referral to a specialist. The GP said the chances of it being anything serious were very low at my age but the referral was made just in case. I received a letter from DART, called the number and said I would get communication from Torbay Hospital by a certain date (I was not given any choice as I was told there wasn't one for my particular referral). This date came and went and after leaving it a few days I called DART again to chase it up. I was told curtly that "it wouldn't be us calling you". I was then given the booking department's number to call. I did so and about a week later my appointment letter came through for Teignmouth Hospital not Torbay! (This made no difference to me but it seemed to defeat the point of having DART)
I feel in my case DART served as an unecessary step that seemed to slow the process down. Although I appreciate patients may like/have the right to a choice of Hospitals, I feel that with most medical problems the quicker they are treated the easier they are to treat (quick treatment is more cost effective and may even be life-saving in some cases!). Would it not be better for the patient to be able to nominate a hospital (if they want to) at the time of referral and then be contacted or contact DART if they can't have that one or if they need to be treated elsewhere? There seemed to be a lack of communication between the appointments team and DART.