"Unhappy with broken ankle follow up and arthritic toe joint appointment"

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART) Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

I can see no point in sending an appointment request form from which you then have to phone a number to get a referral.

It claims to offer choice of hospital but I wasn't offered one, as it was claimed that the Royal Devon & Exeter is the only one to which I could have gone, unlike a previous foot investigation which took place at a Private hospital in Torbay and was a model of how to treat a patient. So perhaps I could have been offered the choice of that hospital?

Eventually I joined the waiting line and was eventually seen and sent for Xrays.

Another long wait and eventually the same consultant offered me an operation or to have the faulty joint injected.

In the interim since presenting to my GP with inflamed toe and ankle things had settled down a bit , so the long wait meant that the condition was no longer the one for which I was being examined. I was not shown any of the Xrays which I have a right to see and presented with the options with a 'take it or leave it' attitude.

I thought it a most unpleasant experience and it contrasted so badly with my earlier experience when the joint was injected there and then. Now there is to be another long wait. All in all a most unsatisfactory experience.

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

Dear ‘flondrew1’,

Thank you for getting in touch to relay your feedback about our service, it is very much appreciated.

I am very sorry that you were not offered a choice of hospitals when you phoned DART. As you know, this is one of the main reasons that we ask patients to contact us, rather than the GP surgery simply sending the referral to the nearest hospital. Our contracts with private hospitals in the area do change from time to time, so it is possible that we are no longer able to send you to the hospital which you were seen at before. However, unless your GP specified a particular clinician in your referral letter, you should have been offered other alternatives that are available and I am surprised that this did not happen. If you would like me to look into this further for you, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01626 883888.

Regarding the part of your feedback that relates to your appointments at the RD&E, they are aware of your post and are planning to respond next week.

Kind regards,


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