All first referrals to Trusts will need to be made via the e-Referral Service and that paper referrals (including referrals made via email) will no longer be accepted by hospital Trusts from October 2018.
. Our local trusts have decided to move to e-referrals only before this date:
Sending referrals electronically using the e-RS is safer, faster and more secure than using paper/email. It enables practice and hospital staff to easily track a patient’s progress and eliminates the possibility of referral letters and appointment confirmations being lost in the post.
Best practice guidelines published by NHS Digital state that referral letters should be attached to appointment bookings within the following timescales:
There is significant variation in the length of time that practices take to attach a referral letter.
As a starting point practices must attach referral letters within seven working days for routine referrals and within one working day for Two Week Wait referrals.
When making a 2WW referral on e-RS please ensure that:
We know that our GPs currently experience some difficulties in booking appointments via e-RS due to limited availability of appointments made by providers. To address this, our Trusts are working with us towards ensuring all specialties are available on e-RS along with adequate levels of available appointments.
In preparation for the 2018 ‘switch–off’, practices are urged to review their practice referral systems and ensure that staff are trained in using e-RS. If not already doing so, practices are asked to start to use e-RS as the sole means of referral where possible.
As you know, clinicians can also seek Advice & Guidance (A&G) via NHS e-RS on a range of specialities. Those currently available for BHRUT only are:
The CCGs and Trusts will be engaging with GPs and acute colleagues further in the coming months to support this work so watch out for further information, training and updates on the GP intranets.
The NHS e-RS website contains a wealth of useful information for patients and NHS staff, including training and educational materials: https://digital.nhs.uk/referrals
NHS Digital have produced an e-RS training video (see below) which provides Practices with a step by step on how to:
nb: the video will starts 10 minutes in.
NHS e-RS users may wish to subscribe to the regular bulletin to be kept up to date with useful information about both the current system and future developments: http://content.digital.nhs.uk/referrals/news
If you have any local queries related to this work, please contact: