Everything we do supports healthy people, living healthy lives in healthy communities. We do this by ensuring individuals access the right advice, care or treatment in a timely manner.
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 first outpatient appointment. Where appropriate, we offer a choice of location, date and time for their appointment, using the electronic referral system ‘e-Referral Service’.
The DRSS team covers all Devon and East Cornwall GP practices - includes 127 surgeries and a population of over 1.3 million people.
We also provide a Helpdesk for GP practices and patients to assist with any queries.
Useful information for patients
01626 883 888
01626 883 888
- Referrals are made by a GP or clinician following the relevant clinical guidance, self-referral is not available
- All patients should receive a letter from DRSS with information on how to progress with their referral.
- The helpdesk can be contacted on 01626 883 888.
For any other general help or queries about choice, or for large print, Braille, audio tape or other language versions, please call our Helpdesk: 01626 883 888 (Opening hours: Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm) - please do not use this number to book.
We are always looking to improve our services and value your opinion.
Share your feedback about the DRSS team using our online survey.
We would like to hear what you have to say, click on the image to access the short survey.
Alternatively you can provide feedback by:
- visiting www.careopinion.org.uk and clicking on “Tell your story”
- calling 0800 122 3135 (local rate) during working hours and tell your story to someone at Care Opinion, who will put it on the web for you
Patient choice and the NHS Constitution
As part of the Devon Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), the CCG is committed to enabling patient choice as set out in the NHS Constitution.
Patient choice statement (Devon) - 18-week referral to treatment (RTT) breaches - seeking an alternative provider
Patient choice in the NHS
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 have the right to choose which hospital provider they are referred to.
Exceptions include emergency and urgent services, cancer, maternity and mental health services. For example, if individuals need to be seen urgently by a specialist (such as for severe chest pain) they will be sent where they'll be seen most quickly.
The CCG recognises that sometimes referrals are made outside the area that are not subject to patient choice.
To maximise convenience for patients and investment in local services, the CCG prefers and actively promotes local referrals wherever a clinically equivalent service exists, though patient choice will be respected.
Patient choice statements for Devon on referrals and choice are available to download below.
Treatment in another European Economic Area country
Patient choice statement (Devon)
Under the European Union Directive on patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare, patients are entitled to travel to a European Economic Area (EEA) country to purchase treatment.
If the treatment is medically necessary and the same as, or equivalent to, a service that they would be eligible to receive under the NHS, they can apply to their local CCG (NEW Devon CCG or South Devon and Torbay CCG) for prior approval. This is in order to ensure equity of treatment for all our residents. Reimbursement will not be authorised without prior approval.
The Directive covers UK patients choosing to be treated in another EEA country. This does not cover patients in England choosing to access treatment in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Patients who wish to seek treatment in another EEA country should seek advice from their local CCG’s Individual Funding Panel:
Zero tolerance to abusive behaviour
We are happy to help sort out problems, answer questions or deal with any feedback or complaints that you may have, however all our staff are entitled to carry out their duties without fear of harassment, abusive behaviour, violence or aggression.
The CCG does not accept behaviour towards staff that is harmful, abusive, threatening or aggressive in any way and takes a zero-tolerance approach to behaviour of this kind.
Should staff experience this behaviour they may terminate correspondence without warning. All correspondence to the CCG is logged and further action to protect staff may be taken should it be necessary.