"I wasn't able to choose an appointment time"

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART)

(as the patient),

My doctor referred me to the to Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

I rang the DART booking service. They asked for my reference number, quoted it and the person on the end of the phone said it was the wrong number. They said the would get in touch with the service and call me back. They called me back an hour later and quoted me a new number. But they couldn't give me an appointment now as they said I was already in the system waiting for an appointment. I was told I would get a letter in two months with an appointment date.

So instead of being able to choose an appointment time I have to wait for this appointment to come through, that you can bet your boots will be inconvenient and I will have to go through the whole process again.

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

Dear ‘Jump365’,

Thank you for getting in touch with us to give us your feedback on our service, it is very much appreciated.

I’m a little confused as to what happened with your reference number so cannot offer an explanation. However, I’m very sorry for the confusion and inconvenience it caused you.

Regarding your being added to a waiting list, unfortunately, there are some services at the Royal Devon and Exeter (RD&E) which are at currently fully booked which therefore have no appointments showing on our system. When this happens, we have no alternative but to add patients to a waiting list, for the RD&E to contact once they have more appointments available. A note is kept of when the referral was made so that each patient is seen ‘in turn’. There will be a phone number on the letter you receive with an appointment so that, if it is at an inconvenient time, you can call the RD&E direct to change it. We do realise that this is a far from perfect method for booking appointments but unfortunately it is the best we can do at the moment.

If you would like to discuss the issue any further, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01626 883888. I work Monday to Friday, 9 until 5, but am out of the office on Monday 8th August.

Kind regards,


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