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The future of the NHS e-Referral Service

Thanks to user feedback, the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) is continually improving to make it easier, quicker and more convenient to use. Find out about the improvements we're making and our user feedback process.

NHS e-Referral Service vision

"To provide NHS and partner organisations with a referral service that empowers patients to obtain the best care - first time, every time.​"

NHS e-Referral Service principles

Visual representation of the NHS e-Referral service principles

  1. Enabling patients and professionals to manage referrals in partnership.
  2. Providing a single source of information on referrals and bookings into health and social care services.
  3. Providing a standard tool to support the management of health and social care referrals.
  4. Supporting patients in completing referral and booking transactions online, including provision of assisted digital options.
  5. Making data and information readily available to support patient choice, clinical pathways and health and social care planning.
  6. Simplifying the referral process and supporting national standards of integration and interoperability.
  7. Promoting a modern approach to software design and development.
  8. Developing a high-quality solution that delivers significant benefits and makes the NHS more efficient.

Future service roadmap

The e-Referral Service roadmap shows both system enhancements and when they're planned to be delivered.

The roadmap details are correct as of the published date and subject to change.

More information on the future developments detailed on the roadmap can be found on the NHS e-Referral Service progress, news and events page.

User feedback process

Thanks to user feedback, the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) is continually improving to make it easier, quicker and more convenient to use. This helps e-RS to support your needs and provide a better user experience.

You can provide suggestions on how to improve e-RS by requesting a ‘user need request form’ from

The diagram below shows how these requests are processed.

Flow chart explaining how requests to e-RS are processed.

All user needs are added to the e-RS requirements log and grouped into ‘themes’ of areas of the system, for example the Directory of Services or Worklists. When any system change is being explored in these areas, all existing user needs are reviewed and fed into the research process to confirm – or otherwise – their inclusion in the future system development. If users indicate that they would like to be included in the research process, they will be contacted by the e-RS programme research team as work is planned in the relevant functional area so they can be involved with other users.

Please note: due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, it may be some time before we are able to provide any feedback on new suggestions.  Please be assured that we will continue to review and log all user needs received for consideration in future research, design and development work, so new ideas will not be lost.

Last edited: 15 June 2020 10:48 am