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Summary information published today on NHS e-Referral Service

Anonymous summary data on the number of hospital bookings using the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) has been published for the first time today as an open dataset.

Anonymous summary data on the number of hospital bookings using the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) has been published for the first time today as an open dataset.

The management information is published as an interactive dashboard and an open data file, and includes weekly data on referrals2, bookings3 and appointment slot issues (ASIs)4 performed through e-RS between October 1 2019 and May 30 2020.

This information is broken down by CCG (parent of referring organisation)5, priority (excluding booking data), specialty and clinic type.

The data does not include those patients that have had a referral, booking or attempted booking outside of e-RS.

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.

This CCG-level data is being made available to a wider audience to allow for its use in public health – enabling greater analysis, modelling and planning to be performed.

The dataset will be updated on a monthly basis and feedback is welcome here: Please reference “NHS e-RS Open Dataset feedback” in the title of the email.


Read the full report

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Notes for editors

    1. NHS Digital is the national information and technology partner of the health and care system. Our team of information analysis, technology and project management experts create, deliver and manage the crucial digital systems, services, products and standards upon which health and care professionals depend. During the 2019-20 financial year, NHS Digital published 285 statistical reports. Our vision is to harness the power of information and technology to make health and care better.
    2. e-RS referral data – a referral 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.
    3. e-RS 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.
    4. e-RS 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 providers ‘Appointment Slot Issues’ worklist. It is this action we are reporting.
    5. Only activity attributed to English CCGs, and other English organisations is included in this analysis. As the CCG is based on the postcode of the referring organisation, it is possible that patients are interacting with services in England but resident in other countries outside of England i.e. Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands.
    6. For media enquiries please contact or telephone 0300 30 33 888.

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Last edited: 11 June 2020 8:05 am