"trying to make a general enquiry"

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART)

(as the patient),

I called the Patient Choice Help line: 01626 883888 at 10am on Monday morning and was met with an automated voice response informing me that they were closed and could not leave a message. The 'voice' informed me that opening hours were 9-5, so how is it closed at 10am?

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

Dear ‘RSM’,

Thank you for your feedback; we always appreciate patients letting us know about problems that they have encountered while using our service.

Unfortunately, due to a combination of illness and annual leave, yesterday there was only one person working on our Patient Helpdesk. If that person had to step away from their desk for any reason they will have had to turn the phone off so that it didn’t ring out, which is why you got the message that the helpdesk was closed. I will look into getting a more useful message put on the phone in case this situation arises again.

Thanks again for letting us know.

Kind regards,


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