"Issue regarding the amount it must waste on paper and postage."

About: Devon Access and Referral Team (DART)

(as a service user),

The Devon Access and Referral service in itself is efficient and responsive, allowing the person to make appointments at a time and date when it best suits them.

However, my call is to take issue with the health service re the amount it must waste on paper and postage.

I received a letter asking me to make an appointment - the letter was 3 pages long, single sided print. It will be, in my experience, followed up with a further two letters all of similar length and again single sided.

Why not have double sided print?

Why not give patients the option to use e-mail?

Why not ask people to be prepared with a diary or calendar available when they ring to make an appointment so that information can be noted straight away - this way the need for follow up letters is removed.

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Responses

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

Dear Racoon966,

Thank you for getting in contact with us to tell us about your experience. I would like to give you a more detailed response 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 2 working days.

Best Wishes

Gemma Tremlett

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

Dear ‘Raccoon966’,

Thank you for your kind comments about the DART service, I am pleased you found it efficient and responsive and were able to make an appointment at your convenience. At DART when a patient calls to book an appointment we request it is noted down because we do not send out confirmation letters as this is carried out by the clinics or hospitals on an individual basis.

The letter you received inviting you to boom an appointment was sent to you by your GP practice, the single sided print will be dependant upon how they have set up their printing equipment and settings. If you are happy to share which GP practice you are registered with I am happy to feedback to them and they may wish to change their printer settings as a result.

With regards to follow up letters, I cannot be sure where these letters have come from but assume it is from the hospital or clinic regarding any future appointments or care. There are options available to you to choose the way you receive information from any hospital department, and it would be best to contact the Patient Advice Team of the hospital you receive your care under. Information relating to this can be found at the link below:

https://www.newdevonccg.nhs.uk/file/?rid=101038&download=true

I hope this has gone some way in answering your query.

Kind regards

Gemma Tremlett

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