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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.


Benefits for referrers include:

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

Find out more about realising the benefits.

Referral management plan

Find out how to develop a referral management plan.

Implementing e-RS

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

Access the professional application.

Maturity Model

If you've already implemented e-RS, our Maturity Model will help you to improve your maturity rating by suggesting engagement methods and process changes. On completion of the Maturity Model you will understand what steps could be taken to improve your maturity rating.  The materials below will help you to undertake this.

Making a referral

Use our e-learning module to learn about making e-RS referrals. Watch the video demonstration to see a typical patient journey using e-RS, or you can use this version to view specific parts of a journey (this requires Adobe Flash Player v10 or higher).

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 guidance will help you follow the process.

Manage Your Referral

The NHS e-Referral Service 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 smartcards and download the business roles matrix.

Reports and statistics

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

Outpatient Pathway Modelling Tool

The Outpatient Pathway Modelling Tool (OPMT) compares a service provider's current referral management processes with a best practice process model and identifies where savings in time and costs can be made.

To get started, read the user guide and then launch the tool.

Training materials

For quick reference guides and e-learning, visit our training page. 

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

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.  

Guidance and policies

Advice and guidance
Archived referrals
Clinical responsibility when delegating actions
Managing and minimising appointment slot issues
Referral Assessment Services

More resources can be found in our document library.


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    Training for referrers

    Download quick reference guides and e-learning materials, and find out how to access our training environments, which mirrors the live system.

Last edited: 8 May 2019 2:55 pm