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Creating a new NHS England: Health Education England, NHS Digital and NHS England have merged. More about the merger.


Find out about NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) releases.

Release 13.6 – Tuesday 12 December 2023 (subject to final testing)

1. Change to patient waiting time calculations

With effect from 13 December 2023, the waiting time methodology used within e-RS will be changing.

The changes will align e-RS with the approach which has been used in the My Planned Care Patient Portal since April 2021. Waiting times for treatment will be reflected as mean (average) waiting times. The changes follow engagement with patients and stakeholders who advised that an average waiting time is easier for patients to understand and inform their decisions. 

Professional users will notice wording changes to the ‘Indicative Treatment wait’ reveal on the Service selection screen. This will display ‘This is the average waiting time for treatment at this provider’.

waiting time reveal wording

When patients are using the Manage Your Referral website to manage their referral, they will see the wording ‘The average waiting time for treatment at this provider is XX weeks’.

Image displays shortlist of clinics on NHS App for e-RS


2. New clinic types under Diagnostic Physiological Measurement specialty

To support NHS Community Diagnostic Centres and other diagnostic pathways, the following new clinic types will be introduced under the Diagnostic Physiological Measurement specialty:

  • Respiratory - Spirometry +/- bronchodilator
  • Respiratory - Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide (FeNO)

Review the other specialty and clinic type changes which are planned.

Release 13.5 - Friday 10 November October 2023

1. Enhancements to the patient email function

This enables patients to receive additional referral information electronically, the previous email communication function has been enhanced for referrers.

Referrers now have the option to send emails to patients with referrals that:

  • require booking
  • are waiting to be triaged by the providing organisation (referral assessment service)
  • are waiting for an appointment to be booked by the providing organisation (referral deferred due to appointments not being available/appointment slot issue)
  • have been booked

Find out more about the changes, and which patients are able to receive email communications.

Release 13.4 - Friday 13 October 2023

1. Enhancements to the help notification feature

Our support notification feature, which provides information within the e-RS system on key changes has been updated to improve user experience.

Having listened to user feedback we have:

  • made it easier for users to quickly dismiss messages
  • made it easier to dismiss messages which have been 'read'

 new work list dashboard new release

This image is an example of how the new notifications are displayed. 

No changes to the worklists took place in this release.

Read further information on how these notifications are being enhanced

Release 13.3 - Friday 15 September 2023

1. Changes to support primary care network

GP practices are working together with community, mental health, social care, pharmacy, hospital and voluntary services in their local areas in groups of practices known as primary care networks (PCNs). PCNs build on existing primary care services and enable greater provision of proactive, personalised, coordinated and more integrated health and social care for people close to home. Release 13.3 introduced a change so that the ODS codes for PCN organisations are recognised by e-RS.  

In order for users to be able to login into e-RS within PCNs, they will require appropriate business roles allocated by the local registration authorities

Once set up to use e-RS, referrers will be able to seek advice and/or refer patients from any PCN which their chosen authentication method (for example, smartcard, secure key, windows hello) is associated to.

If you’re considering using e-RS, please review the responsibilities for referrer PCN’s.

2. Not delivered - date to be confirmed. Changes to allow providers to redirect booked accepted referrals - DNAs

Further to the change introduced in June 2023, which allowed providers to redirect an accepted referral without the need to cancel the referral and manage it outside the e-RS, this will allow  the action to also be taken on referrals where patients did not attend (DNA) their appointment

Previous releases

Last edited: 1 December 2023 10:34 am