NHS e-Referral Service

The NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) formerly known as ‘Choose and Book’, is a national electronic booking service. All GP practice to consultant referrals must be made through eRS as paper and email referrals are no longer being accepted.  

The aim of e-RS is to transform the referral process, bringing together referrers, providers and commissioners to provide patients with a choice of place, date and time for first hospital or clinic appointments.

Changes to the GMS contract regarding eRS 
The Standard Contract for 2018/19 requires the full use of the NHS e-RS for all consultant-led first outpatient appointments. From 1 October 2018, providers will only be paid for activity resulting from referrals made through eRS. 

What does it mean for patients?
With a choice of place, date and time for first hospital or clinic appointments and the option to cancel or change the appointment if necessary, patients are given greater choice and flexibility, improving the patient journey. Patients can manage their referral on the NHS website.

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We have been working closely with the trusts over the last few years to increase the specialities and slots available to book into on e-RS. 

Training and support
There are a range of resources and contacts to support your transition to eRS:

  • FAQs
  • contact your local eRS lead who is available to provide support if needed.

NHS England have now published the Standard contract guidance. This guidance should be read in conjunction with the FAQs. For guidance on 2WW referrals, see pages 11-12.

If GPs are currently trying to make a referral and there is no appointment available to book into, they can use the ‘Defer to Provider’ function.

Useful links
Reports and statistics 

NHS website
NHS digital                                                                                                                               

North West London standard operating procedure FAQ

NHS e-Referrals FAQ 

LNWH phase 2 comms 

Specialist trust switch off dates

Comms to GPs

ICHT e-RS published services