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NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) in the Path to Live environments

An overview of NHS e-RS in the Path to Live environments.

The NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) has replaced the Choose and Book service. It allows GP’s to electronically refer patients to other healthcare service providers, usually hospitals. It provides the patient with a choice. As the referrer is not tied to a particular service provider, patients are free to choose which provider they wish to use, based on what’s important to them, for example waiting time, distance or clinician. 

Service providers create services on e-RS and allocate appointments slots to these services on their local Patient Administration System (PAS).  

The services must be defined against a list of clinic types, determined by NHS England. Within the definitions, services can be restricted in many ways, for example by gender or age. Services can either be national, available to anyone or locally commissioned services, available only to organisations within the care commissioning group.

Everyday e-RS polls service provider's PAS systems for available slots using the Transaction Messaging Service (TMS) in Spine Core. Slots can be published up to 180 days in advance which are then advertised within e-RS for referrers to see and book appointments.
 
Once the referral is made and the appointment booked, service providers can manage the process of referrals within the e-RS application, for example, triage or refer on to alternative services. 

e-RS API

In order to use the e-RS service, users still have to authenticate to Spine. Some customers wanted to be able to access e-RS functionality without the requirements of authenticating. To accommodate these customer requests NHS digital created an API interface in e-RS and a set of API’s for external customers to use. 

The customer’s service acts like a endpoint and connects to e-RS through the API interface allowing e-RS functionality. Current APIs support activity such as viewing referral letters or creating appointments.

NHS Digital hope that by providing a basic set of starter APIs, customers will develop their own APIs that can be shared across the user community. The e-RS Dev3 environment has been provided specifically to allow developers to create new APIs and allow them to be rapidly available in live to all users.

Guide to creating services in Path to Live e-RS

The Guide to creating services in Path to Live e-RS enables you as users of the Path to Live environments to create and manage your own e-RS services to facilitate testing or training.

This guide is intended for use in the Path to Live environments and is not suitable for the live environment.

Guide to creating referrals in Path to Live e-RS

The Guide to creating referrals in Path to Live e-RS enables you as users of the Path to Live environments to create and manage your own referrals to facilitate testing or training. 

This guide is intended for use in the Path to Live environments and is not suitable for the live environment.

This guide only covers the creation and management of referrals from within the e-RS application. Each GP system has a different process for creating seamless referrals within the local system and their documentation should provide similar guidance.

Common issues experienced in e-RS

Details of common issues experienced in e-RS and how to resolve them. 

Path to Live environments this service is available in

Last edited: 14 June 2019 2:53 pm