The future of the NHS e-Referral Service
Thanks to user feedback, the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) is continually improving to make it easier, quicker and more convenient to use. Find out about the improvements we're making.
Meeting users' requirements
Our roadmap of developments is based on your feedback. It shows what's needed, what we've done and what we're doing next. Find our how we're meeting user requirements. [54.01KB]
Future service roadmap
The e-Referral Service roadmap [119.47KB] shows:
- system enhancements
- when they're being delivered
- deadlines for the levers and incentives for using the service
Levers and incentives
The Quality Premium for 2016/17
The Quality Premium for 2016/17 [668.47KB] is an incentive payment to encourage Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to increase the number of patients referred electronically through e-RS.
It includes payments for:
- achieving 80% of first outpatient appointments via e-RS
- a 20% point uplift in year
e-RS and Advice and Guidance Commissioning for Quality and Innovation
This is a payment to incentivise providers to publish all services and appointment slots on e-RS.
The aims of a CQUIN (Commissioning for Quality and Innovation) are
- to secure improvements in the quality of services
- better outcomes for patients
The e-Referral Service CQUIN (section 7) aims to support referrers, such as GPs, in referring their patients electronically to the full range of outpatient services available and for their patients to always be able to book an appointment.
The incentive will help ensure that hospitals and other providers are encouraged to make the necessary outpatient services and appointments available on e-RS.
If you're a provider, these resources will help you meet the CQUIN requirements:
Advice and guidance
advice and guidance CQUIN (section 7) requires providers to set up and operate advice and guidance services for non-urgent GP referrals, allowing GPs to access consultant advice prior to referring patients into secondary care. Deliverables in the e-RS roadmap will help providers meet the targets set out in the advice and guidance CQUIN.
This case study [245.5KB] explains how the Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation Trust use advice and guidance to support teledermatology services, streamline patient pathways and to help reduce the pressure on outpatient services.
The Standard Contract for 2018/19
The Standard Contract for 2018/19 requires the full use of e-RS for all consultant led first outpatient appointments.
From 1 October 2018, providers will only be paid for activity resulting from referrals made through e-RS. Further guidance will be released in 2017, explaining non-payment arrangements. This will support local health communities to plan for the Paper Switch Off for elective referrals.
Also in this section
This page details new functionality, which will provide the ability to triage referrals before booking an appointment for patients, both to support complex clinical pathways and to help reduce demand to elective care services.
Working with referrers, providers and commissioners, we've created a guide to support the delivery of paper switch off in a local health community. You can also download the referenced documents.