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Creating a new NHS England: NHS England and NHS Digital merged on 1 February 2023. More about the merger.

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.

Internet Explorer no longer supported

Users of the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) will not be able to access the service using Internet Explorer from 7 October 2022. Find out what action should be taken by your IT Teams if you currently use Internet Explorer. 

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 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.

This demonstration video shows a typical patient journey using e-RS:

This shows how to:

  • create a service
  • raise an Advice and Guidance request and receive responses
  • create a referral
  • a patient makes an appointment online
  • a provider accepts a referral

Please note the video does not display functionality to convert the advice and guidance into a request and also changes to referrer's worklist. More information on the conversion functionality can be reviewed on the advice and guidance toolkit above. If you're an e-RS (initial) referring user, for example a GP, find out more about the referrer's worklist changes.

Benefits of the service

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.


Find out more about 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: 3 February 2023 8:58 am