The data analysis and enrichment to support the NHS e-Referral Service Open Data dashboard was through a collaboration between NHS Digital and Public Health England. NHS Digital would like to thank Public Health England for their support and input.
This is a public beta version of this dashboard. It may change without notice We welcome your feedback about this release.
What this data shows
This data shows weekly data on referrals, bookings and appointment slot issues (ASIs) performed through e-RS. Appointment slot issues are where there are no slots available for booking at the time of search, and the case enters a process for the provider to resolve. The dataset will be updated every month. These data are being made available to allow for their use in public health enabling more analysis, modelling and planning to be performed and to see changes over time.
The NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) provides an easy way for patients to choose their first hospital or clinic appointment with a specialist. Bookings can be made by the patient online, using the telephone, or directly in the GP surgery at the time of referral. Under the NHS Standard Contract, all GPs in England use e-RS to make all referrals to consultant-led outpatient services.
The data set presents CCG level data by specialty and week.
This dashboard was published 9 July, the next scheduled dashboard update is 13 August.
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How recent this data is
This dashboard data is updated every month, with data covering from 31 December 2019 up to the previous calendar month, while the open data release covering from 7 October 2019.
Full report and datasets
To see the full data which powers this dashboard, including accessible versions of the data, see our NHS e-Referral Service open data publications.
These links are to the latest data, or to the entire published series.
Data included and excluded
Included in this data
All patients that have had either a referral, booking or appointment slot issue, performed through e-RS
weekly data on referrals, bookings and appointment slot issues (ASIs) performed through e-RS
the dashboard covers NHS region, Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), priority, specialty and clinic type breakdowns
the open data set covers CCG, priority, specialty and clinic type breakdowns
Excluded from this data
This does not include information those patients that have had a referral, booking or attempted booking outside of e-RS
This is anonymous data and does not include information which could be used to identify an individual within another dataset including patient demographics such as age, sex, sensitive information or clinical diagnosis.
Caveats and notes
Due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), several weeks data show a higher number of appointment slot issues than the number of referrals raised. This may be due to the cancellation of routine appointments, and the subsequent re-booking attempts made by patients.
The interactive dashboard which accompanies these open data files includes only data for CCG organisations. The open data files include referrals, bookings and appointment slot issues from both CCG and non-CCG organisations. Therefore, users of the open data files may wish to include or exclude data from the non-CCG organisations from their own analyses.
The number of events are the number of referrals, bookings or ASIs per week after adjustment for bank holidays.
4-week rolling average is the mean number of referrals, bookings or ASIs per week for the last 4 consecutive weeks (rolling 4-week period), after adjustment for bank holidays.
Referral rate is the number of referrals per 10,000 population (patients registered at a GP practice) per week, after adjustment for bank holidays.
Bookings rate is the number of bookings per 10,000 population (patients registered at a GP practice) per week, after adjustment for bank holidays.
ASI rate is the number of ASIs per 10,000 referrals (number of referrals in e-RS) per week, after adjustment for bank holidays.
4-week rolling event rate is the mean number of events per 10,000 population per week for the last 4 consecutive weeks (rolling 4-week period), after adjustment for bank holidays.
The percentage change is the percentage change in number of referrals, bookings or ASIs from the baseline. The baseline was defined as the average number of referrals, bookings or ASIs per week between 7 October and 29 December 2019. This period was chosen as it was unlikely to be affected by COVID-19.
A 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). Referral data includes referrals for all priorities, specialties, and clinic types. Two week wait (2WW) clinic types are displayed, all other clinic types have been grouped into 'Other clinic'.
Bookings data includes the number of successful initial bookings made as the result of a referral. A booking may be made at the same time as a referral, or at a later date. It includes bookings of referrals previously on the Appointment Slot Issues (ASI) worklist, provided the provider updates the e-referral system with the booking information. For non-2WW bookings, this set of data includes First Outpatient bookings only. For 2WW bookings, the data includes bookings for all appointment types. Only the first record of a converted Unique Booking Reference Number (UBRN) is counted (unique UBRNs). Subsequent activity such as rebooking is ignored.
Counts exclude bookings from Ministry of Defence (MOD) sites. 2WW clinic types are displayed, all other clinic types have been grouped into “other clinic”.
Appointment Slot Issue (ASI) data
Appointment slot issue (ASI) data - 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 provider's “appointment slot issues” worklist. It is this action we are reporting.
The data represents every ASI action recorded during the reporting period. 2WW clinic types are displayed, all other clinic types have been grouped into “other clinic”.