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e-Referral Service dashboard (private version)

Find out about the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) dashboard (private version), including information on the purpose of the dashboard, how to access the dashboard and the data included.

About e-RS

The NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) is a digital solution that lets GPs and other referrers search for and find appropriate clinical services into which they can refer their patients for more specialised care. It also supports referrers in asking for advice from more specialist clinicians.

For patients it is a solution that enables people to book, change and cancel referrals and appointments (through the NHS App).

For healthcare professionals it is a digital tool for service providers to publish their service details and appointments, which allows referrers to find appropriate services for referrals, bookings and advice and guidance.

For professional systems it is a digital system that is fully enabled to be integrated into other healthcare systems.

It is mandated through the NHS Standard Contract that all GP referrals to first consultant outpatient services are made through e-RS.

About the dashboard

The e-RS dashboard (private version) provides an organisational and national perspective on advice and referral data within e-RS. It includes performance metrics and summary statistics for providers and commissioners. One key function of this dashboard is to provide the capability for benchmarking one organisation in relation to other providers. The purpose of the dashboard is to drive service improvements. 

It is only accessible via 2 Factor Authentication after successfully submitting an online access request.

What the dashboard provides

Headline metrics, including the percentage of:

  • total Advice and Guidance responses where the first response was provided within 2 working days of submission
  • Advice and Guidance outcomes that have been converted to a referral
  • total referrals that are rejected
  • triage outcomes which have been returned to the referrer with advice
  • referrals classified as priority '2 week wait'
  • ratio of ASI to directly bookable service bookings

The ability to drill down into the above headline metrics.

The ability to download data for further analysis.

Getting access

You can request access by using our dashboard access request form.

Once your application has been processed, we will contact you directly with the dashboard onboarding details.

Dashboard location

The dashboard can then be accessed through the Tableau server.

About the data

All GPs in England use e-RS to make all referrals to consultant-led first outpatient services. Therefore, the e-RS database contains every related action that has been performed in the e-RS system for these referrals. Elements of the database are displayed in the beta dashboard. Other actions are available in the full dataset, held by NHS England, but are not in scope for this data release. 

Dashboard data is updated on a weekly basis, every Tuesday. 

If you have any concerns or issues with the data presented or missing data, contact the dashboard team on [email protected] with the details and they will investigate.

User guide

Terms of use

User access to the private portal (dashboard) is strictly subject to the dashboard end user access agreement.

By accessing the disclosed data through the private portal, users are accepting the terms of the dashboard end user access agreement

Privacy policy

Our privacy policy tells you what information NHS Digital collects about you and how it is used to provide you with access to, and enable your on-going use, of the dashboard.

Business rules

The dashboard user group will be audited every 3 months, users who have not accessed the dashboard in the last 3 months will be contacted and advised they will be removed if they do not confirm they still require access.

The personal data collected during the access request process will not be used for any other purpose other than managing the access and communications for the dashboard.

Additional information

Measure Notes and caveats Measure description
Referrals An initial referral in e-RS is defined as a request to another clinician to assist with management of a patient's health issue, this may result in creating an appointment request with a shortlist of suitable services, into one of which the patient may book an appointment. Each referral has a unique booking reference number (UBRN), only unique initial UBRNs are counted in this measure. Count of initial create request (referral) actions
Referrals accepted This is the outcome if a referral is clinically appropriate for the service to which it has been booked. Count of UBRN_IDs where the initial referral has been accepted (accept or auto accept) for bookable services only
Referrals rejected

This option should only be used occasionally when, for clinical reasons, and after the receiving clinician has assessed the referral information provided by the GP, it is felt that the patient could be managed more effectively by alternative methods and without a prior ‘face to face’ appointment.

In such cases, the booked appointment will be cancelled electronically in e-RS and the referral will appear back on the ‘Rejected/Triage response' worklist for the practice to contact the patient and take appropriate action. This may include cancelling the referral and managing the patient according to the comments provided, or re-referral to another service (or the same service) with the same (or amended) clinical referral information.

Count of all rejected initial referrals
A&G requests Advice and guidance allows one clinician to seek advice from another. Unlike creating a booking request, where several providers can be selected, advice and guidance is a communication between two clinicians: the 'requesting' clinician and the provider of a service (the 'responding' clinician).

This measure counts the first advice request from each advice and guidance conversation.
Count of distinct advice request actions
A&G first response This measure calculates the length of time between the first advice request from the referring organisation, to the first response provided by the provider. Count of the 1st response to an advice request (Response times calculated from date of create advice request action, to first response)
A&G outcomes Where an advice and guidance conversation has been closed, this measure counts the outcomes including advice ended, and converted by referrer/provider. Count of distinct close advice actions (where the close advice outcome is advice ended or converted by referrer/provider)
RAS requests

Referrers can send their patient referrals directly into a RAS without having to book an appointment for the patient.

When a service search is being initiated, a RAS will have a 'Send for Triage' button instead of the usual tick box option on the service selection screen.

Count of referral assessment service (request triage) actions
RAS outcomes This measure counts the send to triage outcomes, these include refer/book now, accept and refer/book later and return to referrer with advice. Count of referrals assessment service outcome (record triage outcome) actions
ASI During the appointment booking process e-RS will allow the referral to enter the ASI process if there are no slots available for booking at the time of the appointment search. This action is called ‘Defer to Provider’. Each time the referral is deferred the referral will appear on the service providers ‘Appointment Slot Issues’ worklist.  It is this action we are reporting. Count of appointment slot issue (Defer to Provider) actions
Referrals received by provider

This measure counts the flow of patients received by a provider for those that have either been deferred, booked or triaged into a service.

A&G requests converted by a provider or a referrer will be recorded when they enter the system as either a booking, defer to provider or a triage outcome action. 

Count of distinct UBRN activity (by either booking, defer to provider or triage outcome actions) received, by provider
DBS bookings The term ‘directly bookable’ refers to appointments that can be booked by patients or their representative via any means including online, over the phone or in-person, that do not go through a triage process. Count of directly bookable service booking actions

Download the full data logic.

Release information

Latest release

29 June 2023 – the following updates have been released:

  • Headline description on ICB region page updated
  • Removed 'Unknown' from event type filter on Referrals detail page
  • Corrected some minor difference in the reported data on Referrals detail page and Download tab

Previous releases

18 April 2023 - the following updates have been released
  • 'Compare Years' page added to allow users to view key metrics against previous years data from 2019
  • Cosmetic changes including the addition of a Home page icon
  • Date filter set to the beginning of 2022 until latest data date
  • Headline colour added to sync with the selected provider
  • ‘N/A’ now listed at the bottom of providers filter selection
21 February 2023 – the following updates have been released
  • new region ICB matrix to provide comparison with other provider(s) in region and ICB (new page Region ICB)
  • new ASI to bookings ratio matrix added to the home page and Metric analysis
  • inclusion of ASI outcome and bookings analysis on the referral details page
  • inclusion of ASI Outcome and bookings on the download tab
23 January 2023 – the following updates have been released
  • total event counts added for each metric of A&G, referrals and RAS based on filter selection.
  • addition of an "i" to describe ASI data (on referrals details page)
  • date slider update when new data is inserted
  • removal of the referrals measure from download tab
14 December 2022 - the following updates were released
  • referrals page added
  • additional tab (referrals) on navigation tab at top
  • a sixth box and navigation arrow on home page
  • re-arranged dashboard pages, moved info and caveats page to the end
30 November 2022 – the following updates were released
  • changed the date stamp to ‘Data Extracted up to’ showing last day of week( all pages)
  • a stacked bar chart showing series for specialty and clinic type for outcomes and responses
  • renaming charts and event type to 'A&G 1st Response' For Response
  • change of series order, 0-2 first.
  • for outcome and oesponse, series order changed with converted first and the ended one last
  • for requests, updated to one series on the trend (i.e. total) but for A&G outcome and response, it should be line by response time and outcome
  • addition of tooltip to all the charts and total at the end of stack bar chart and removal of the numbers from stacked bar chart for individual categories
  • change of text on 'i' on provider A&G page.
15 November 2022 – the following updates were released
  • rename Provider Summary Stats page to A&G detail
  • metric analysis uplift: add in tooltip for specialty
  • benchmark alignment on metric analysis page
  • outcome filter should filter top chart on provider A&G details

headline page : text in ‘I’ reworded

31 Oct 2022 - first Alpha release.

Queries and support

If you have any queries and need additional support, contact the dashboard team on [email protected].

Last edited: 3 October 2023 4:20 pm