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Service transfers within the NHS e-Referral service

Guidance for service provider organisations on how services on the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) can be transferred from one provider organisation to another

Overview of an e-RS service transfer

Many different healthcare organisations provide outpatient and other types of services on e-RS for patients to be referred into. Services are created and published on a Directory of Services (DoS) and are associated to a service provider organisation (for example, Acute provider or Independent Service Healthcare Provider) and a specific location within that organisation (for example hospital site or treatment centre).

Every organisation and location has an Organisation Data Services (ODS) code assigned to it. ODS codes are imported into e-RS and are assigned and managed by the NHS Digital/ODS team in Exeter. When organisations merge, de-merge or change legal status, the ODS team may assign new ODS codes to reflect these changes. In addition to organisation changes, local changes to service provision, such as the transfer of ownership of a speciality from one service provider to another may also impact on patient referrals and e-RS services.

Within e-RS there is a process to transfer e-RS services from one service provider organisation to another, which is called an e-RS 'service transfer'. The benefit of a service transfer is that all current and historical referrals, as well as how the service is defined on the DoS, are retained. An e-RS service transfer has minimal impact to referrers and patients.


Service transfer options

As the service transfer is designed to move e-RS services from one service provider organisation to another, it is not suitable to move services from one location (hospital site) to another location within the same organisation. This can be undertaken simply via the e-RS Service Definer login. Find out more about moving a service from one location to another in the same organisation below.

As part of an e-RS service transfer, all current referrals (UBRNs) on every e-RS worklist, as well as commissioning rules (if appropriate) and all information defined in a service, are all retained. Workgroup membership and named/allocated clinicians will also be retained if the appropriate e-RS logins have been created. See dependencies to be reviewed before requesting an e-RS service transfer below.

In addition, for directly bookable services, the assigned patient administration system (PAS) interface, known as the ASID (accredited system identifier), details will also be retained after a service transfer. This ensures that e-RS will continue to communicate to the same PAS for slot polling, appointment bookings and cancellations after the transfer has taken place.


Dependencies to be reviewed before requesting an e-RS service transfer

Before submitting an e-RS service transfer request, and to minimise any delay, please review the two dependencies below.

ODS codes

As highlighted above, the e-RS service transfer is designed to move services from their current location (under the current organisation) to a corresponding location (under the new organisation). ODS codes assigned to locations are managed by the NHS Digital ODS team and cannot be created or amended within e-RS.

If any new locations do not have an ODS code assigned, then it will not be possible to progress the transfer request. If a new location ODS code is required, you will need to contact the ODS team.

e-RS Smartcard Roles

Each e-RS service transfer requires all smartcard users who are associated to the service under the current organisation to have an equivalent e-RS role under the new organisation. The e-RS service transfer cannot copy or migrate smartcard roles, as this must be undertaken by an RA manager, or equivalent individual within the care identity service (CIS) system. Ideally all affected Smartcard users will be identified, and work will be underway to recreate appropriate users’ e-RS roles under the new organisation.

It will save considerable time if the work to create e-RS roles is started as soon as possible. Please note that the service transfer 'Preview' (see below) can support this work by extracting all affected smartcard users out of e-RS. Please ask your assigned service transfer facilitator for more information.


Stages of an e-RS service transfer

The below stages will be followed in order to undertake an e-RS service transfer. Once a new Service Transfer Request form has been submitted, an e-RS service transfer facilitator will be assigned. Their role is to review the request and provide all necessary support to the requestor from receipt of the request through to the implementation of the transfer.

Stage 1 - review the information on this page. 

Stage 2 - complete the service transfer request form below.

Stage 3 - once the request form is received, an e-RS service transfer facilitator will be assigned, and the requestor will receive an email with an ‘e-RS service transfer data input form’ with further instructions on the next steps. Please note where there are a large number of services to transfer then at least 4 weeks' notice is required between the date the e-RS service transfer data input form is received and the date the service transfer is required. 

Stage 4 - once the completed e-RS service transfer data input form is returned, the transfer facilitator will contact the requestor to arrange a suitable time for an initial conference call. The call will be used to discuss all aspect of the transfer request and any actions to ensure the transfer can take place on the chosen date.

Depending on the scale and scope of the transfer request, the facilitator will continue to provide necessary support to ensure all actions are completed up to and following the implementation of the service transfer.

An e-RS service transfer can only be undertaken once the above dependencies are completed.

Making a service transfer request

Once a transfer request has been submitted, the requestor will receive an email which will include an Excel template called e-RS service transfer data input form. This should be used to list all e-RS services which require transferring from the current to the new organisation. The form should be fully completed, including detailing all the current ‘source’ organisation information, the Service IDs and names of each e-RS Service and the corresponding ‘destination’ organisation details. There are examples in the e-RS service transfer data input form as a guide.

Note: Please use the monthly e-RS service extract (EBSX05) to populate the e-RS service transfer data input form. The transfer facilitator will assist with confirming and checking all ODS codes and service IDs within the e-RS service transfer data input form.


The transfer preview

Once the e-RS service transfer data input form has been returned, the transfer facilitator will create a ‘draft’ transfer request within e-RS and complete a test-run called a ‘preview’. The purpose of the preview is to provide assurance that operational use of e-RS services will continue following the implementation of the transfer, such as ensuring current clinical and support staff will retain access to referrals once the service is migrated to the new organisation.

The results of the preview will be shared with the requestor and form the basis of the discussion on the initial conference call. The preview is designed to check and verify the following:

Transfer preview – smartcards check

The transfer preview checks every smartcard which is associated to each e-RS service within the transfer request and checks whether that user has been allocated with an e-RS login under the new organisation.

Example

  1. Dr Adams is a consultant and currently has the provider clinician login under the current organisation. However, Dr Adams has not been allocated e-RS logins under the new organisation – the transfer preview will show Dr Adams as having - NO ACCESS
  2. Jason Williams is an out-patient booking agent and currently has the provider admin (SPA) role under the current organisation. He has been granted the booking manager (BM) role, and not provider admin (SPA) under the new organisation. The transfer preview will show Mr Williams as having – CHANGED ACCESS (was SPA, now BM)

The preview will provide a list of each smartcard UUID and users name. The transfer facilitator will review this list and discuss with the requestor and colleagues to resolve any issues as quickly as possible.

Transfer Preview - Postcode check

In addition to checking smartcards, the transfer preview also ensures the postal address and postcode of each new location’s ODS code matches the postal address and postcode of the current location’s ODS code. It is important to ensure both match to ensure patients have the correct address details to attend the clinic they have been referred to via e-RS. The transfer facilitator will review any mismatches and discuss with the requestor via conference calls.

The transfer facilitator can re-run the transfer preview as many times as necessary in order to verify that the actions to resolve any issues, such as missing smartcards or postcode mismatches, are resolved.

Complete the e-RS service transfer request form

Before you start

  1. Familiarise yourself with all of the dependencies before requesting an e-RS service transfer.
  2. You will need to provide contact details for a person who will be available from the date the service transfer request is received through to the requested transfer date. Please provide an alternative contact name.  
  3. The requestor must be authorised to approve the requested change in all the organisations involved and must be able to act on behalf of all these organisations.  
  4. You will need to complete all sections of the form, including dependencies, otherwise the form will be returned to the requestor and may delay the implementation of the changes.

What you need to know

  1. An e-RS service transfer data input form will be sent to the requestor once the initial request form has been received.
  2. A conference call will be arranged by the transfer facilitator once a completed e-RS service transfer data input form has been received.
  3. Where you have many services to transfer, we require a lead time of at least 4 weeks between the date the completed e-RS service transfer data input form is received and the date the service transfer is required.  
  4. The transfer will be undertaken at 1am on chosen date specified by the requestor.

Moving a service from one location to another location in the same organisation

The below steps detail how to move e-RS services from one location under an organisations' DoS to another location under the same DoS via the service definer role

  1. Log into the e-RS as a service definer.
  2. Locate the service to be transferred and expand the 'Service Details' shrub.
  3. Untick the 'Publish' box to UNPUBLISH the service and save the service – confirm the warning prompt and acknowledge the ‘Service Successfully Saved’ prompt.
  4. You will note that the ‘Service Location’ drop-down is now active. Select the appropriate alternate location from the drop-down list and save the service. Acknowledge the ‘Service Successfully Saved’ prompt.
  5. Confirm the service is now located under the alternate location, via the list of locations/services on the left of the maintain services screen.

Last edited: 15 July 2021 1:29 pm