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Deceased patient referral management - NHS e-Referral Service

This guidance provides an overview of how deceased patients with open electronic referrals should be managed within the NHS e-Referral Service.  

Introduction

The NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) has been designed to allow a quick and simple process for the cancellation of referral requests, in the event that a patient dies before they complete their referral pathway.  

It is important that referrers and providers both understand their responsibilities with regards to the management of these patient referrals, as failing to appropriately cancel the requests can lead to reminder letters being sent to the patient’s address, which can be greatly distressing for the family of the deceased patient.

Guidance for referring organisations

Referrer responsibilities

Referrers are responsible for cancelling the patient’s referral request in e-RS, as soon as possible after they have been informed of the patient’s death.  

When a referring organisation has been informed of a deceased patient, they can cancel their referral request in e-RS as shown below: 

If the referral is in an “Not booked” state:

Step 1: Select an active UBRN in the patient activity list 

patient activity list e-RS screen displaying patient activity within the last 18 month

Step 2: Clicking on the UBRN will display the Referral summary screen

Step 3: Select Cancel referral from the Action button 

UBRN action dropdown list

Step 4: Add reason of "Referral no longer required" and type information in the reason for cancellation comments free text box and select 'Continue'

eRS cancellation screen Step 5: A confirmation screen will appear asking you to confirm your action.

If the patient has an appointment booked

Step 1: Select an active UBRN in the patient activity list

Step 2: Clicking on the UBRN will display the Referral summary screen

Step 3: Select Cancel appointment from the Action button 

eRS patient referral unbooked screen with cancel request highlighted in drop down menu.

Step 4: Add reason of "Referral no longer required" and type information in the reason for cancellation comments free text box

Cancellation screen

Step 5: A confirmation screen will appear asking you to confirm your action.

If the provider has cancelled the request

If a provider has cancelled the referral request, this will appear on the referrer action required worklist with a referral status of cancelled UBRN. 

cancelled UBRN screen

To remove this from your worklist:

Step 1: Click on the UBRN

Step 2: Select remove on the actions dropdown

eRS patient referral management screen with remove highlighted from drop down menu.

Step 3: Confirm the removal of the referral

warning call out box with cancel UBRN screen image.


Guidance for provider organisations

Provider responsibilities

When a provider organisation cancels a referral with the reason "Other reason", the appointment will be cancelled for the patient, but the referral will still be in an active state on the appointments for booking worklist. This will ensure that patients still requiring treatment will not be missed. 

It is the provider's responsibility to ensure that the request has been cancelled on the appointments for booking worklist in the event that the patient has died. 

If this action is not completed in a timely manner, an automatic reminder letter is sent to the patient's address for them to book an appointment.

Below are the instructions for the full cancellation of a patient's request. 

Cancelling the request

Step 1: Search for the patient in the patient enquiry

eRS patient referral management screen cancel appointment screen

Step 2: Click on the UBRN and select cancel appointment 

eRS patient referral management screen cancel appointment screen highlighted from drop down box of actions

Step 3: Add reason of "Referral no longer required" and type information in the reason for cancellation comments free text box - this will cancel the referral (and the request) and remove it from the appointments for booking worklist 

eRS patient referral management screen cancel appointment screen for patient image with note in comments box confirming this referral cancelled because patient deceased  in comments box.

After you have completed these steps you will see the below confirmation:

eRS referral management screen displaying the words this appointment  and this appointment request has been cancelled.

 


Public information

If you are experiencing issues related to the cancellation of a deceased patient's referral, then please contact the patient's GP practice. 

Last edited: 17 June 2021 12:05 pm