"Unable to get through to DART on the phone"

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART)

(as the patient),

I have been trying to get through to make an appointment, the lines have been busy for 3 hours now. Even the helpline number is busy!

Of course I understand that at certain times you will be busy, but I have now called 47 times. Not only that but I have just noticed I am being charged to listen to your recorded message saying how busy you are? Is this normal?

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››

Responses

Response from Gemma Smith, Project Support Manager - Devon Referral Support Services, Devon Access & Referral Team (DART)

Dear 'myoyster,'

Thank you for getting in contact with us to tell us about your experience. We are unable to give you a detailed response at this time and have contacted our colleagues in NHS Devon to get some further information in order to answer your questions as best we can.

We will respond to your post in the next 48 hours.

Best Wishes

Gemma Tremlett

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful

Update posted by myoyster (the patient)

Thank you for your reply. I now know why. On that day they were moving office, except they didn't switch on the message to let people know they were moving office until about 4 pm. Not good. It would have saved me a lot of time if they had switched it on in the morning to let myself and other people know.

Response from Gemma Smith, Project Support Manager - Devon Referral Support Services, Devon Access & Referral Team (DART)

Dear 'myoyster',

Thank you for your comments and responses, I have taken some time to look into what happened and you are absolutely correct we moved offices on Friday 7th June and our phones were not operating as normal due to a fault with our telecommunications provider.

The phones were due to be switched to our new premises at 8.30am by our provider. We were informed that the transfer had been successful, but in fact it had not and took until the afternoon for an engineer to repair the fault caused during the switch over. Due to this fault our telephony system was unable to display our pre-recorded message. I can only apologise that for the inconvenience this caused to yourself and other patients contacting us on that day. The problem we were experiencing was an intermittent one and which was resolved later that day.

In preparation for moving office we sent x2 letters and several emails, beginning 6 weeks beforehand, to each GP Practice we work with so they could inform any patients they were sending through DART there may be some interruption. On Monday the service was back to normal and we were fully functional. Please accept my apologies for the experience you had using our service and I hope this goes in some way to explain what happened.

Kind regards

Gemma Tremlett

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful

Updates, changes and questions related to this story