Important information about referrals

We are moving to digital referrals only, utilising the NHS eReferral Service (ERS). We are working together with our primary care providers and NHS Digital to achieve by autumn 2018, when we will no longer get paid for any appointments following a referrals sent by email, fax or post. This will apply to all new referrals from GPs to consultant-led outpatient services at our Trust. 

What are the benefits of ERS?

ERS creates benefits throughout the referral process for patients and the NHS. It results in a better patient experience due to greater certainty of appointment and a better patient journey. A more efficient referral system eliminates much of the paperwork and time lag associated with non-electronic referrals. 

  • Patients: Choice and better control over care
  • Safety: Referral visibility and audit trail
  • Operational: Easier referral tracking, reduced number of enquiries about appointments 
  • Financial: Reduced DNAs and cancellations, and no need to process paperwork

Referral rejection process

Any referrals sent by post, fax or email after the cut-off date will be returned to the referring GP without an appointment, and the GP will be requested to refer via ERS. 

Training events are available for GPs via the CCGs.  

Appointment Slot Issues (ASIs) and Defer to Provider

In the event that there is no capacity available on ERS, referring GPs will be asked use the Defer to Provider option. We will then be able to manage the referral within ERS where there will be a complete data trail for all to view. Please be assured that all patients will be contacted to have their appointment arranged within the appropriate timeframe.

Queries about paper switch-off programme

Please contact the PSO team at ers.pso@chelwest.nhs.uk.