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Directory of Services (DoS)

The urgent and emergency care Directory of Services (DoS) is a database of NHS services in England. It works with NHS Pathways, the decision support system behind 111 and some 999 providers, to provide real-time information for patients about the right place to go.

How it works

The DoS is a directory of NHS services which is integrated with NHS Pathways, the clinical decision support system that supports 111 and some 999 providers.

Once someone has gone through a triage the DoS provides information about where they should go next.

The DoS uses the information already collected about the patient – such as their location and how quickly they need treatment – to provide a list of the best services for them. For example, this might be the nearest pharmacy, an urgent treatment centre or an emergency department.

The list is ranked by factors such as how close the facility is, when it is open and what services are available when they get there.

Updating the DoS

The DoS is managed and updated by regional NHS teams. They make sure it is as up to date and accurate as possible. 

If you have a query about the services listed in the DoS or you think something is missing, you can contact your regional DoS team.

Information for DoS commissioners and DoS leads, including monthly newsletters, guidance, reports and training information, is available on NHS Futures.

You will need to register for an account or log in to access NHS Futures.

Using NHS Profile Manager to update the DoS

NHS Profile Manager is a self-service tool which allows some service providers to manage and update their own information on the DoS, as well as on the NHS website.

At the moment only community pharmacies can update the DoS using NHS Profile Manager. We are working to onboard other services, such as general practice and dental practices.

Benefits of the DoS

Benefits include:

  • real-time, trusted information for health care professionals involved in patient care, which can be accessed through a variety of channels
  • improved patient journey, allowing patients to receive the right care, at the right place, at the right time 
  • improved management of service capacity across the system

How the DoS works with other digital urgent and emergency care services

The DoS plays an important role in the urgent and emergency care system, providing information to multiple digital UEC services such as NHS 111 (telephony and online) and NHS Pathways. It is also integrated with NHS Profile Manager and NHS Service Finder, as well as supporting bookings and referrals and the management of critical care beds.

Expand the services below to find out more about them:

NHS Pathways

NHS Pathways is a clinical tool used for assessing and directing people to urgent and emergency care services. Once NHS Pathways determines what type of care they need and how quickly, the DoS provides an appropriate list of care settings.

NHS 111 online

NHS 111 online allows patients to get urgent healthcare online. Once someone goes through the 111 online journey they will get information about what to do next. For example, this might be a link to self-care advice, an instruction to ring their GP or they may need an ambulance.

They may also be referred to a care setting such as an urgent treatment centre or an emergency department. It is this list of care settings which is provided by the DoS.

NHS Service Finder

NHS Service Finder is a free, national product available for health and care staff. It retrieves information from the DoS and the NHS website, and is a fast and easy way to access the information they need to safely signpost patients.

Bookings and referrals (BaRS)

Healthcare IT systems are starting to use the DoS to enable bookings and referrals directly from 111 and 999. We are developing the Booking and Referral Standard which is an interoperability standard for these systems, to improve how booking and referral information can be sent between NHS providers quickly and safely. 

Critical care beds

The DoS is also used to capture information about the availability of critical care beds. This information allows colleagues in integrated care systems (ICSs) to see where beds are available, to help them manage services and plan effectively.

Using the DoS as a third-party supplier

The DoS contains information for a wide range of health and care services across England. We have APIs available for third party systems to be able to surface some of this information, for example through search functions or by retrieving individual service records. 

Only users who comply with the DoS acceptable use policy are allowed to use the DoS. 

How to apply for a DoS API

  1. Find out more about DoS APIs
  2. Read the DoS API acceptable use policy
  3. Complete the application form

Further information

Last edited: 9 January 2024 10:39 am