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NHS Referrals

DRSS Information

The Devon Referral Support Services ("DRSS") is a referral contact centre based locally with offices in both Newton Abbot and Plymouth.

DRSS supports the GP referral process from referrer to the patient’s first outpatient appointment. We offer patients a choice of location, date and time for their appointment, using the electronic referral system ‘Choose and Book’ to review the GP referral letter and triage against any agreed local pathways. Patients are offered choices of available services wherever possible.

The DRSS team covers all Devon and East Cornwall GP practices, this includes 127 surgeries, and a population of over 1.3 million people.

We also provide a Choose and Book Helpdesk for GP practices and patients to assist with any queries relating to a patients referral and services.

In England, under the NHS Constitution, patients ‘have the right to access consultant led non-emergency treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks, or for the NHS to take all reasonable steps to offer a range of alternative providers if this is not possible’.

Most patients also now have the right to choose which hospital provider they are referred to.  This legal right, which was introduced in April 2009, lets patients choose from any hospital provider in England offering a suitable treatment that meets NHS standards and costs.

Patients can choose which hospital they are seen in according to what matters most to them, whether it's location, waiting times, reputation, clinical performance, visiting policies, parking facilities or other patients' comments.

A choice of hospital is available for most patients and in most circumstances.  Exceptions include emergency and urgent services, cancer, maternity and mental health services.  If you need to be seen urgently by a specialist (for example, if you have severe chest pain), you will be sent where you'll be seen most quickly.

Private Referrals

If you have private health insurance or wish to been privately at hospital, please inform your GP in your appointment who will then refer you to a consultant of your choosing if appropriate.

If you have a query concerning your referral please contact our Medical Secretary team to discuss this further by calling 01271 341 901. 


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