"Getting a referral ....."

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART) Devon Square Medical Practice

(as the patient),

Let me start by saying everyone that works @ DSS are very helpful.

My disapointment comes from being pushed from pillar to post. I have a lump in my throat, it has been there for 7 weeks now. after seeing 3 different doctors and a course of anitibiotics, I was informed I would be sent to a specialist.

This was last monday. I had to call the surgery and chase my appointment, which turned up today, then I had to call another number to arrange a time.

I spoke to someone who advised me that a date mid-late september was the earliest I could see someone.

I find it hard to understand why it took 10days for a letter to be sent ( I live 2miles from the surgery) now I have to wait another 3+ weeks.

Very disappointed!

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Response from Gemma Smith, Project Support Manager, DART, NHS Devon

Dear ‘Mr M’,

Thank you for letting us know about your experience of being referred, I am sorry you were disappointed with the service you received. We really appreciate the chance to understand what went wrong for you.

Once your GP has decided to refer you for a consultant opinion, you should be sent information regarding your referral directing you to contact the DART Team. This information should be sent to you within a few days of your seeing your GP, it sounds as though it took a little longer to reach you than usual. I am sad to read you felt ‘pushed pillar to post’ and this is not what we want anyone using our service to feel.

Patients are asked to call DART so that we can offer a choice of all the hospitals available. We have access to the appointment dates and time of each of the hospitals and can advise on waiting times to help with making a choice. At the time the patient calls we will always offer them the earliest available appointments. If your appointment was not as early as you had hoped we apologise for this but we are only able to offer the appointments that the hospitals have available.

We would welcome the opportunity to understand your referral a little better and see if there is anything further we can do. We could also look to see if the time you have had to wait is unusual for the service. If you are willing, I would be grateful if you could give me a call with your details so that I can look into what happened. My phone number is 01626 883712 and I work Monday to Friday, 9 until 5.

Best Wishes

Gemma Tremlett

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Response from Gemma Smith, Project Support Manager, DART, NHS Devon

Dear ‘Mr M’,

It was a pleasure to speak with you last week and I would like to thank you for getting in contact with me. I have spoken with your GP Practice who have extended their apologies to you for the delay in receiving the DART phone number; they are keen to ensure patients have a more seamless experience when being referred. Patients are ordinarily posted a letter containing the relevant information they need a few days after seeing their GP and this is the case for the majority of patients.

As for you appointment, I have contacted the hospital you have chosen and will contact you with any further information.

I hope the remainder of your care is more relaxing.

Best Wishes

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