"Confusing letter from DART"

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART)

(as the patient),

I received a letter from DART which I think is very unclear. It begins 'Following your recent appointment your GP wishes to access further advice and care for you.' I think this is a very confusing way to begin a letter, and does not make it at all clear exactly what DART is, or what this "further advice and care" is. Why can't the letter just be clear and begin by saying exactly what DART is - an appointment booking system - and that my GP has requested a referral for me and I need to ring to make an appointment. In my opinion this information is not made clear enough on the letters sent out.

I then telephoned the number given on the letter, and spoke to a woman who I felt was very evasive about what I was being referred for. When I asked she wouldn't say what department, and it was like she had information that she didn't want to share. There shouldn't be this sort of secrecy or unwillingness to share information - after all it's just an appointment system. It would be better to have more transparency, to say exactly what my GP has asked for and who I'm being referred to.

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Responses

Response from Susan Pearce, Project Support Manager, DART (Devon Access & Referral Team), NHS Devon We are preparing to make a change

Dear ‘sun570’,

Thank you very much for getting in touch and giving us your feedback, it is very much appreciated.

Regarding the letter that is sent out asking patients to phone DART, I apologise that you did not find it very helpful. We are currently re-designing it to make it clearer and more straightforward so hopefully it will be more useful for future patients.

As for the conversation you had with a member of our team, I can only apologise that you were given the impression that we were trying to be evasive. If you are phoning about your own care, there is no reason why we shouldn’t discuss the details with you although it would obviously be different if you were phoning on someone else’s behalf.

If you would like to discuss the matter in more detail, please feel free to call me on 01626 883888.

Best wishes,

Susan

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Response from Susan Pearce, Project Support Manager, DART (Devon Access & Referral Team), NHS Devon We have made a change

Dear 'sun570',

Apologies for the delay in my response but I wanted to let you know that we have re-designed the form that is given to patients and we took your comments into account and have tried to make the new form is more straightforward in its language.

Thank you again for feeding back to us, your opinion will hopefully make things easier for other patients.

Best wishes,

Susan

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