Referral Assessment Services


This page details new functionality, which has been introduced to provide the ability to triage referrals before booking an appointment for patients. This supports complex clinical pathways and helps to reduce demand to elective care services.

What has been delivered

The NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) programme has introduced Referral Assessment Services (RAS), which now allow providers to:

  • assess the Clinical Referral Information from the GP/referrer
  • decide on the most appropriate onward clinical pathway
  • contact the patient to discuss choice (if an elective referral)
  • arrange an appointment, where needed
  • return the triage request to the original referrer with advice, if an onward referral isn't needed

This new facility supports complex care pathways, such as gastroenterology and cardiology, where it's not always clear whether a patient needs a consultant appointment or a diagnostic test. A RAS set up by the provider will ensure patients' referrals are triaged correctly.

An NHS e-Referral Service Performance & Development Manager has provided the following feedback on the new functionality:

"I am really impressed with the RAS functionality, it is working extremely well for our services. Everything has been so easy, the service set up was simple, the roll out seamless and switching off our Clinical Assessment Services has not caused any problems. It is the best thing that the NHS e-Referral Service has done for a long time. It has allowed us to set up services such as dietetics and oncology that would not have been suitable to be set up as bookable services. We are now able to achieve the efficiencies of electronic referral management for these services and remove paper processes"

The booking clerks love it, they can see all their patients in the worklist - they can easily tell which patients are waiting for assessment in the RAS, something they were not able to do using CAS functionality. This saves them time as they do not have to filter worklists to try and find patients."

Supporting materials

The following materials offer support in understanding RASs:

Please note that the ‘Referrers overview’ and ‘Service provider overview’ below will be removed from this webpage in the near future.

Overview presentation
DoS set-up demo - this requires Adobe Flash Player v10 or higher. We are aware that some users are unable to open this PDF. We hope to have a solution in place soon.
Top tips for service definers
Referrers overview. - this requires Adobe Flash Player v10 or higher.  Users who are unable to open this PDF can access it in an alternative format on the e-Learning for Healthcare website (registration is required).
Service provider overview. - this requires Adobe Flash Player v10 or higher.  Users who are unable to open this PDF can access it in an alternative format on the e-Learning for Healthcare website (registration is required).



There's a further list of user needs, which will be developed to build the full suite of functionality. The e-RS programme roadmap details the plans for further enhancements to RAS functionality. More detailed information will be listed on this page when available.