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Creating a new NHS England: NHS England and NHS Digital merged on 1 February 2023. More about the merger.


Find information and training to help you get started with making referrals in the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS), as well as guidance and help to make the most of the system.

Changes have been made to referring screens. Referring users should familiarise themselves with these changes

Benefits of e-RS

The NHS e-RS benefits referrers by:

  • providing a safe, secure and reliable system supporting patients in their choice decisions, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • providing an easy and reliable way of identifying appropriate services
  • helping to optimise the clinical appropriateness of referrals
  • introducing the concept of "book now, refer later" which allows the referrer to fully involve the patient in the decision making process during the consultation
  • offering more efficient referral processes, such as reduced time spent chasing written referrals if implemented correctly

Referral management plan

Implementing e-RS

If you've not implemented e-RS, find out how to get started.

Access the professional application (N3) connection required.

Find out more about smartcards and view the business roles guidance.

Make a referral

Review our referrer support materials page to learn about making e-RS referrals or watch the video demonstration to see a typical patient journey using e-RS.

Our best practice guidelines help organisations:

  • comply with the contractual requirements of the NHS Standard Contract
  • understand the importance of using the NHS e-Referral Service correctly
  • to deliver safe and effective patient care

Developing a referral management plan will help you follow the principles of  'Referral Management - Lessons for Success', published by the Kings Fund in 2010 to improve quality and make savings.  

You can refer to named consultant-led teams by using the 'Named clinician' function. Our named clinician guidance will help you follow the process.

Manage your referral

e-RS allows patients to book their own appointments through an application called Manage Your Referral. This can be accessed by computer, phone or tablet. This video shows the application as well as the benefits of using this for both patients and professionals:


Advice and guidance

Find out what the health community in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough think about the improved e-RS advice and guidance function by watching this video:

Find out more about advice and guidance.

Reports and statistics

Find out which referrals are going through e-RS by downloading individual reports from the reports and statistics page.

Training and support

Help function

You can access information from the Help function within the e-RS application, or if you're on an N3/HSCN connection you can access it without logging in.

Training environment

The NHS e-Referral programme provides a training environment for end users. This mirror live e-RS and allow training on a life-like system, without the risk of accessing or altering real data. Access to the training environment can be requested by contacting

Please read synthetic test data page if you are considering using test patient/services in the live e-RS environment.

Microsoft Teams sessions

The e-RS programme team provides training sessions using Microsoft Teams. Find out more about available dates on the below sessions:

Training materials

For quick reference guides, videos and learning materials, visit our support page for referrers.

Training resources such as lesson plan and trainer presentation can be requested by emailing the programme team at

Training forum

The National training forum has been established to provide open and regular communication channels between the e-RS national training team and a representative panel of e-RS trainers from the NHS and independent sector.

Further Assistance

The e-RS Implementation team can provide guidance and support on the adoption and best-practice use of e-RS. Please contact them on for further assistance.

Technical or system performance issues

Our service status page shows all known issues with the service (N3 connection needed).

Details of planned outages will be published on the live service information pages.  

Last edited: 13 January 2023 9:46 am