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Changes to support clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) mergers - NHS e-Referral Service

Updated: 24 August 2021 - Some clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) merged in April 2021. Read the information below to find out what actions may need to be undertaken within the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS)

Phase 1 - April 2021 - copying of e-RS ‘commissioning rules’

The NHS e-RS combines electronic booking with a choice of place, date and time for first hospital or clinic appointments. GPs and referrers can search for appropriate services to refer their patients to. These services are either available on the 'secondary care' (acute services) menu or 'primary care' menu. Primary care menu (also known as locally-commissioned) services will have an e-RS 'commissioning rule' defined by the CCG. Each 'rule' defined by the CCG, authorises all GP Practices within the CCG to be able to search for and refer their patients to those services.

Actions completed for merging CCGs 

All CCGs who merged on the 1 April 2021 were required to copy their current e-RS commissioning rules, from each of the predecessor CCGs to the new CCG.

Phase 2 - transfer of e-RS services

In addition to the above e-RS commissioning rules, many CCGs host or provide their own e-RS services on the e-RS directory of service (DoS). These include services which undertake the management or triage of referrals in primary care prior to onward referral onto secondary care.

Any e-RS service which is still hosted on the old CCG's DoS will need to be transferred or closed before the CCG’s ODS code is closed and/or the e-RS roles under the old CCG are closed. If either of these events occur, and there are ‘live’ e-RS services hosted on the old CCGs DoS, then access will be lost and it will not be possible to manage referrals within the e-RS service. Within e-RS, services are transferred via a 'service transfer'. Find out more information about e-RS service transfer or contact the national e-RS support team directly via

It may be necessary for organisations to download e-RS reports and extracts for those CCGs which are merging. This needs to be undertaken before the CCG ODS codes are closed, which is due to occur later in 2021 (date to be confirmed). The reports and extracts will not be available once the codes are closed.

Last edited: 24 August 2021 4:14 pm