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Incomplete Referrals (UBRNs) on the NHS e-Referral Service

We have provided an overview on referrals (UBRNs) which have been created from an integrated GP system and not processed fully, The information in this guide will help referrers in retrieving and resolving incomplete referrals.

Criteria for a UBRN to be in an incomplete state

The criteria for a UBRN to be in an incomplete state are when:

  • a referral has been created from a GP integrated system and a UBRN requested from the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS)
  • the referral has had clinical information attached from within the GP integrated system
  • the referral information has not been submitted through e-RS because the user has exited e-RS before the referral process has been completed

Where will an incomplete UBRN be visible

Within e-RS, incomplete UBRNs will be displayed both on the Referrer Action Required worklist and on the Patient Activity List:

Image showing an incomplete UBRN displayed in a referrer action required

On the Referrer Action Required worklist (above) these referrals will have a status of ‘Incomplete Referral’.

Please note, incomplete UBRNs created prior to 19 June 2018 will not be populated on the Referrer Action Required worklist, only incomplete UBRNs created after this date will be displayed.

screen shot of eRS showing referral status screen

screen shot of e-RS screen with the referral status column highlighted to display an incomplete referral

On the the Patient Activity List (PAL) (above): all incomplete UBRNs relating to the selected patient will be displayed from when e-RS went live (June 2015) with a category of ‘Incomplete Referral’ and Referral Type of ‘Draft’.

screen shot of e-RS screen showing a patient activity list column displaying category and referral type


Actions to take

Before the incomplete referral can be processed you will need to ensure that a duplicate referral has not been created. You can do this in two ways:

  1. Using the Patient tab in e-Referral Service you can search for the UBRN

screen shot of e-RS screen with the patient in tab screen highlighted

This will reveal all of the patient’s referrals and you can check for duplicate referrals. If there are two UBRNs for the same referral then you will need to cancel the incomplete referral. If only one referral exists then you will need to process the referral. Do this by selecting the UBRN, then from the Referral summary screen which is displayed, select the 'Select service' option from the Action button.

Actions available

You can copy the UBRN by highlighting it and pressing ‘Ctrl+C’ and then paste it by pressing ‘Ctrl+V’.

  1. Check for a duplicate referral within your GP software system – this can be used if you think that the duplicate referral may have been managed outside of e-RS

How to process the incomplete UBRN

From both the Referrer Action Required worklist and PAL a user can select the UBRN which will direct them to the Referral summary screen. There they will have the option to either:

  • cancel the request from the Action button - the next screen will require a reason for cancellation before a confirmation screen is displayed
  • select the service from the Action button - where services can be shortlisted and then process the patient as you would for any other type of referral request

Actions available

  • view history from the link displayed at the top of the screen - this does not give you the option to process the referral but does give an overview of the referral history

What happens once the incomplete UBRN has been processed

Once the UBRN has been cancelled or fully processed, the UBRN will be removed from the Referrer Action Required worklist but will be displayed on the Patient Activity List with the appropriate status, for example, ‘Booked’ or ‘Cancelled’.

Last edited: 17 June 2021 11:36 am