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NHS e-Referral Service

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 online, using the telephone, or directly in the GP surgery at the time of referral.

Advice and guidance toolkit

Advice and guidance allows a clinician to seek advice from another, providing digital communication between two clinicians: the “requesting” clinician and the provider of a service, the “responding” clinician.

Find out more by reviewing the advice and guidance toolkit.

Using and optimising the service

If you're a patient, find out more about appointment booking on the NHS.UK website.

Information on how to access e-RS through web-based professional application can be found in our web-based e-RS onboarding section. If accessing e-RS through integration, via the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), more information can be found in our Integration section.

Whether you're using e-RS for the first time, or an existing user wanting to make the most of the service, NHS Digital provides a range of material for referrers (such as a general practice), providers (a hospital or clinic) and commissioners.

These materials show how to:

  • create a service
  • create, manage and action advice and guidance requests
  • create and manage referrals

Review our resources on how to use existing capabilities in e-RS to accelerate referral optimisation and improve patient experience and outcomes.

Benefits of the service

Find out more about the benefits e-RS provides.

Improving the service

We are continually improving the service and many changes have already been made, and more are planned. Find out how the service is improving.

API integration

Find out more about Application Programming Interface (API) integration and how to connect systems to the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS).

Contact us or find out more

Have a question about e-RS?

Discover how you can find further information and how to contact us.

Further information

internal Helping patients manage their referral online

More referrals are being made electronically with the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS). Using e-RS means practices have the chance to save time by helping patients manage their referral online.

internal Reports and statistics

These reports are intended to be used in addition to local NHS e-Referral Service reports and extracts available from within our application. Each report includes a cover page detailing the contents, and the criteria used for any data analysis.

internal Referrers

Find information and training to help you get started with making referrals in the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS), as well as guidance and help to make the most of the system.

internal Providers

Information and training for providers using the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS), as well as guidance and help to make the most of the system. You can also learn about benefits and best practice.

internal Commissioners

The NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) is used to make around 70,000 referrals daily. A full record of these is available in the application, with a wealth of information that can be used when making commissioning decisions and managing referrals.

internal Case studies

Covering lessons learned and personal experiences, these case studies provide an insight into the implementation, benefits and use of the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) across primary and secondary care.

Last edited: 13 December 2023 10:23 am