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NHS e-Referral APIs news and events

News and events related to the e-Referral API. 

6 February 2019 - Clinical review suite: expressions of interest for alpha partner engagement

The NHS e-Referral Service integration portfolio has recently completed the functional testing and initial release of their new provider ready Clinical Review Suite of APIs.

This suite is made up of Alpha versions of service provider clinician and service provider clinician admin, Accept, Reject and Re-direct API endpoints.

The earlier developed Accept and Reject APIs have now been supplemented from Release 8.2 with an adaption of the existing NHS e-RS re-direction functionality to represent a single Re-direction Lite or Consultant Action endpoint, which will allow providers to create an internal administration tasks within the professional application interface with a single step.

This will allow solution developers to embed next stage Clinical Review actions into their foundation Clinical Referral Information (CRI) with three single buttons, with the ability to enter further, mock re-direction instructions that will transition the referral from the referrals for review worklist to the appointments for booking one.

These APIs are now available for business partners to connect and review, with expressions of interest sought by the team for partners, users and stakeholders to work on their early adoption with. If you are interested in helping shape their future enhancement Beta development, please contact the team

28 January 2019 - New NHS digital, data and technology standards draft framework published

Integration between healthcare systems along with the safe and secure electronic transfer of data gains further momentum as a draft new NHS Digital, Data and Technology Standards Framework, which describes new expectations around the use of data, interoperability, and design standards within the NHS is published for consultation.

The draft framework outlines the key standards for clinical safety, the use of data, interoperability and design interactions.

“As we see migration towards standards, we will quickly see an increase in our ability to share data across the system, an increase in our ability to analyse and drive insights from the huge amount of data we hold across the system, and an ability to procure and redeploy technology with greater efficiency and at lower cost than has ever been possible historically.”

- The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social care

“The use of robust standards in the development of digital, data and technology products for the NHS is critical in ensuring these products are safe, cost effective and meet the needs of all health and care system users; patients, clinicians, support staff and the health research community.”

- Sarah Wilkinson, CEO NHS Digital. 


17 December 2018 - Imperial College Heath care NHSFT goes live using eRS integration APIs

A successful collaborative project, between Imperial College Healthcare and the NHS e-Referral Service, recently delivered the first business partner implementation of the Service’s new Application Programming Interface (API) functionality.

Imperial are an innovative Trust of 10,000 people, providing care for around a million people every year, in their five hospitals and a growing number of community services in north west London.

An interoperability partnership was quickly established between Imperial’s ICT Projects and the Service’s Integration Portfolio Teams and then tasked with making available the Clinical Referral Information (CRI) or ‘Referral Letter’ within the e-RS application to Imperial’s internal document repository and online vetting solution.

Through close technical and implementation collaboration, a new Target Operating Model (TOM) approach for product assurance was piloted leading to a successful launch on the 17th December 2018. This is now helping the Trust to realise its NHS England Paper Switch Off (PSO) Programme benefits, reducing administrative costs, achieving quicker patient care and providing a firm foundation for deeper clinical review integration, associated to the processing of over 100,000 first outpatient appointment each year. 

Watch the 15 February 2019 webinar.

5 November 2018 - New path to live environment for partners

The NHS e-Referral Service has now delivered a new Application Programming Interface (API) focused Path-to-Live environment (PTL). This has been called e-RS/DEV3 and is now accessible through the Development (DEV) Care Identity Service (CIS) and Spine Core network domain. The new environment will act as a test repository for the growing range of NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) Alpha APIs. As this environment will exist outside of the monthly PTL e-RS release cycle, it is now able to provide increased responsiveness to new user needs and change requests. The e-RS Integration Portfolio Team will be able to design, implement and release new, agile functionality and respond to changes within a period of days rather than the existing monthly release cycle. The existing Alpha APIs have now been removed from the main software branch and the existing PTL environments, to help in the maintenance of an efficient, operational code base. This does not affect existing users of the Clinical Referral Information (CRI) APIs as these are fully live and available in the core software release. Connectivity information and service notifications are now available through the NHS Digital Assurance Support portal. 

1 October 2018 - Referral request API suite

Through successful external stakeholder engagement, the NHS e-Referral Service has now commenced activity to design, build, release and assure a new, live Beta suite of referral APIs. This activity builds upon end user and systems supplier feedback on the elaboration and prototyping of an early Alpha suite, allowing end users the ability to create quick and easy referrals in the e-RS solution. The planned live suite will support an application workflow equivalent to the current Professional Application interface functionality, with compliant systems able to search for patient services, create a referral, upload clinical attachment(s) and print the patient referral request letter. This roadmap deliverable represents the completion of development and release of new APIs into the live service application code and made available for collaborating partners to commence development and assurance.  

5 September 2018 - 100 per cent of trusts have now switched over to the NHS e-Referral Service

A total of 150 acute hospital trusts and 7,110 GP practices have made the move to sending and receiving all first outpatient appointments through the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS). This means that all acute trusts managed to beat the 1 October deadline to fully move to e-RS.

Trusts that have already made the move to using e-RS full-time have reported that patients on average receive appointments eight days faster, that the number of patients that fail to attend appointments has dropped by up to half and patients have greater control over their appointments.

The move to e-RS also helps to vastly reduce the amount of paper used in the referral process, as well as providing patients with a greater choice of when and where their appointment will take place.

From 1 October 2018, trusts will only take electronic referrals from GPs and NHS Digital and NHS England are working together to support full implementation of e-RS.

25 August 2018 - PRSB sets the standards for clinical referral information

New standards for sharing clinical referral information have been published by the Professional Records Standards Body (PRSB) with the aim of speeding up treatment times.

The standard has been developed with clinicians and patients, along with implementation guidance for digital referrals sent from GPs to hospitals. It is hoped that once the new standards are implemented, the exchange of referral information from GPs to hospital consultants and other professionals providing outpatient services will be improved.

The publication of the new referral standards line up with NHS Digital’s October 1 deadline, by which time trusts are to only accept e-referrals from GPs.

Learn more about PRSB

10 August 2018 - Release of the new NHS e-Referral integration roadmap

We are pleased to announce the release the new NHS e-Referral Integration Roadmap on the 10 August 2018. 

Learn more about the future integration roadmap

1 June 2018 - Industry briefings with techUK

techUK and NHS Digital are hosting two industry briefings. 

The briefings provided. 

  • An update of NHS Digital’s work including the “paperless 2020” programmes commissioned by the National Information Board.
  • An in-depth look at a number of NHS Digital’s development roadmaps and programme plans.
  • A chance to ask questions of NHS Digital senior management leading development and service improvement programmes.
  • A chance to share your perspectives with NHS Digital, techUK and colleagues across the health and social care digital Industry.
  • Introductions and signposting to further information, and opportunities to shape the development of NHS Digital’s services.

1 May and 10 May 2018 - techUK industry briefing with NHS Digital

TechUK is hosting this event in Leeds and London. The briefing covers:

  • an update of NHS Digital’s work including the “personalised health and care 2020” programmes commissioned by the National Information Board
  • an in-depth look at a number of NHS Digital’s development roadmaps and programme plans, an opportunity to ask questions of NHS Digital senior management who are leading development and service improvement programmes
  • a chance to share your perspectives with NHS Digital, techUK and colleagues across the health and social care digital industry
  • signposting to further information and opportunities to shape the development of NHS Digital’s services.

Learn more about techUK or the NHS Industry briefings

21 April 2018 - NHS eReferral Service integration road map

We are listening to your views and have been asking users and integration stakeholders what improvements they would like us to make to the NHS e-Referral Service, so that the service is continually improved to make it easier, quicker and more efficient for third party solutions to connect and use. Your feedback is helping us produce a ‘roadmap’ of integration developments.

As such, The NHS e-Referral Service has now released its first Integration Roadmap which aims to explain the system based integration enhancements and when they are being delivered. These represent key milestone themes when new functionality will be released for users to commence their own development, assurance and compliance activities against. 

14 March 2018 - Technical workshop, Leeds

We connected with both stakeholders and industry at a collaborative and innovative event - over 150 people, including a delegation who flew over from Stanford University in the United States attended our technical workshop in Leeds.

The event focused on interoperability, and the consistent exchange of information which empowers health and care professionals to make better use of patient data across organisational boundaries and different clinical contexts.

One of the ways of making systems interoperable across boundaries is by developing an Application Programming Interface (API), which allows different systems to connect to each other. At the workshop, attendees were able to test a range of APIs in trial implementation settings, share learnings, and work together to solve problems. Attendees also had the opportunity to learn more about a range of NHS Digital projects programme via presentations and workshops.

The following programmes provided APIs to test: CareConnect, e-Referral Service and Organisation Data Service. Presentations were delivered by: CareConnect, e-Referral Service, Organisation Data Service, National Record Locator Service, Digital Child Health and GP Connect.  

23 February 2018 - Digital health webinar

The NHS e-Referral Service has been working with partners to develop and release new Application Programming Interface (API) functionality.

in this webinar, Dr Paul Denton (NHS e-Referral Service programme manager) presented in collaboration with Digital Health, PCTI Solutions Limited and Western Sussex Hospitals NHSFT and provided a high-level overview of recent developments, by focusing on the project initiation from one partnership between NHS e-Referral Service, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and PCTI Solutions Limited. 

24 December 2016 – Clinical Referral Information (CRI) APIs

The latest software development phase of the NHS e-Referral Service has now been completed and is available for collaborating business partner review. Through the delivery of the API Beta Project a package of eight APIs have now been made available within the API Sandpit and e-RS/DEV1 Path-To-Live (PTL) environments. These will allow partners to:

  • Authenticate to the NHS e-RS Application using a Organisation and Role based session token.
  • Search for a Unique Booking Reference Numbers (UBRN) using a Referrals for Review Worklist and Speciality search.
  • Retrieve Clinical Referral Information comprising Header, Referral Reason, PDF Clinical Information and Supplementary Attachments.
  • Logout from the session.

Early adopters can request e-RS/DEV1 test data packs, smartcards and prototype support tooling to commence solution elaboration, design and prototyping through the platforms support desk.

Last edited: 4 October 2019 1:33 pm