If you are a GP referring to the RNOH please use the NHS e-Referral Service system, e-RS.
What is e-RS?
E-RS is the NHS electronic patient referral service used to refer patients to a consultant-led service. This is for new first outpatient appointments only. All other appointments must be booked as per the current process.
Benefits for Patients
- It gives patients as much choice as possible and where practicable, empowering patients to make the booking themselves.
- Improves patient convenience. e-RS allows them to plan their visit for a time that best suits their family and work life.
- There is significant evidence that patients who are empowered to choose their own appointment are far more likely to attend their clinic slot.
- Similarly, where patients have greater choice, there is a reduction in rearranged appointments.
- e-RS provides an electronic trail of records that can be easily traced.
- And, by removing paper referrals we can speed up appointment confirmation for patients at the click of a button.
Benefits for the Trust
- Patient choice and better control
- Safety: referral visibility and audit trail
- Operational: easier referral trail, reduction in the number of enquires
- Finically: reduced DNA’s and cancellations- data from previous electronic booking pilots show that when patients are given the choice of date and time for their appointment they are more likely to attend. This leads to fewer wasted appointments and helps to improve the efficiency of outpatient clinics
What happens when a patient is referred electronically using e-RS?
Where the service is ‘directly bookable’ patients will have the ability to book into an available appointment (as a provisional appointment) that is convenient for them to attend. The referral will be reviewed (triaged) by the relevant consultant and will be accepted, rejected or referred on (to another RNOH colleague). The outcome of the review will be communicated to the GP and the patient. For rejected referrals, this will mean that the provisional appointment is cancelled and for accepted referrals, it will mean that the provisional appointment is confirmed.
For ‘indirectly bookable’ services, patients will be given a paper by the GP which should contain a UBRN, passcode and a telephone number to call to activate the referral. It is only once the patient calls the RNOH, that the RNOH will have access to the referral information on e-RS. The referral will be passed to the relevant consultant to review and a decision to accept or reject will be made and the patient and GP notified accordingly.
What happened if there are no appointments?
There may be instances where a patient cannot select an appointment (for directly bookable services) when attempting to book the appointment. When this happens, practices or patients should always choose the ‘Defer to Providers’ option. These are known as 'Appointment Slot Issues' and are caused because there are no available slots for the service the patient is being referred to.
Appointment Slot Issues (ASIs) and Defer to the provider
When there is no capacity available for a service on e-RS and referring GPs, use the 'Defer to Provider' option, an Appointment Slot Issue is created. The service will manage the Appointment Slot Issue worklist, create capacity for the Appointment Slot Issue and then book the patient an appointment via e-RS when there is capacity available.
Sarcoma clinics are also supported by the NHS e-Referral Service. Please ensure that the suspected sarcoma referral form is used for all 2WW referrals. This form can be found here Contact Details for GPs and here Pan London & South East Sarcoma Network Referral Form.
Booking for NHS e-referral service appointment
Patients can book, change or cancel their appointment online and by phone.
To book or amend an appointment online, please visit: NHS e-Referral Service
To book or amend an appointment by phone, please contact the national e-Referral Service appointment line: 0345 6088 888 or 0845 850 2250 for their textphone service.
Please use the reference number and password from the patient appointment request letter, you will need to have this in front of you to book an appointment.
If you have any concerns or queries about e-RS / problems finding clinics/ paper switch-off process, please contact:
Amanda Peel, Elective Access Manager
Tel: 020 8385 3058
Elective Access Management Team at ers.RNOH@nhs.net