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e-Referral Service private providers dashboard

Find out about the e-Referral Service (e-RS) data dashboard, including information on the purpose of the dashboard, how to access it 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 data private dashboard provides an organisational and national perspective on advice and referral data within e-RS. The initial release includes performance metrics and summary statistics for providers. One key function of this dashboard is to provide benchmarking for your 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'

The ability to drill down into the above headline metrics.

The ability to download data for further analysis.


Getting access

The dashboard will be run as an alpha with a small group of provider users for the first phase. Additional users will be added when the dashboard moves to beta.

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.


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 alpha dashboard. Other actions are available in the full dataset, held by NHS Digital, but are not in scope for this data release. 

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

If you have any concerns or issues with the data presented or missing data, contact the dashboard team on primarycaredashboards@nhs.net with the details and they will investigate.


User guide

To follow.


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 ‘Referrer Action Required’ 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. Count of distinct UBRN activity (by either booking, defer to provider or triage outcome actions) received, by provider

Download the full data logic.


Release information

Latest release

15 November 2022 – the following updates have been 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

Previous releases

31 Oct 2022 - first Alpha release.


Queries and support

If you have any queries and need additional support, contact the dashboard team on primarycaredashboards@nhs.net.

Last edited: 15 November 2022 3:58 pm