There are two types of provider services within the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS); those that are available to all referrers in England, and those that are only available to referrers who belong to a specific organisation.
The first of these is typically consultant-led and available to all referrers to allow patients to exercise their right to choose a clinically appropriate provider for their referral.
The second group of provider services require a ‘parent’ commissioning organisation (for example a CCG) to make these services available to selected local referrers. Once these have been ‘commissioned’ within e-RS, only those referrers within the commissioning organisation are able to see and select these services for their patients via the ‘Primary Care’ menu. Within e-RS, the service provider can select whether or not to include the services they are setting up ‘on the Secondary Care menu’ and by opting to do this, they are making the service available to everyone. All other services will have to be commissioned within e-RS and will require start dates (and optional finish dates) added within the system by the commissioning organisation to make them visible to local referrers.
Setting these start (and finish) dates within e-RS is called setting up a ‘Commissioning Rule’.
To set up ‘Commissioning Rules’ in e-RS someone within the commissioning organisation must have a valid smartcard to which the business function of B1106 – Maintain Commissioned Services, has been assigned. Learn more about e-RS business roles.