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Online referrals

online referrals

How to manage your referral online

If you are referred to a hospital or clinic, you can book your appointment online. Just visit www.nhs.uk/referrals.

You will need:

  • your booking reference number, which is on your booking letter
  • the password you received at the same time as your booking letter
  • your year of birth.

If you have been referred, but don’t have your booking reference number or password, please contact your practice.

If you have any problems booking online, call the telephone appointment line. Details are on your booking letter.

Managing your referral online is easy. You can book your own appointment on a date and time convenient for you. You may also be able to choose which hospital or clinic you go to. See below.

Once you have booked your appointment, you can check the details, change your appointment or cancel it if it is no longer needed. The service is fast, convenient and secure.

Better for the NHS

Booking your own referral appointment is also better for the NHS – it saves your GP time and the NHS money.

When patients book their own appointment, hospital say there are half as many missed appointments. Booking online also means the NHS spends less on phone bills and sending letters. The online service isn’t right for everyone, so there is also a phone number you can call. GP practices will still book appointments for patients who need help.

The e-RS Manage Your Referral website is easy to use. It allows you to book, check, change and cancel your appointment online without help from the practice. You can take control and book your own appointment on a convenient date and time and at your preferred hospital or clinic if there is a choice. This means no more worried patients contacting the practice to find out what is happening with their appointment.

Did not attend rate halved

When you book your own appointment, the 'did not attend' (DNA) rate is halved. This means you are treated in a timely way and practices do not need to refer you again.

Patients can manage their appointments 24/7

When you book your own appointment, you can check, change or cancel your appointment online any time of day without contacting the practice. 

How to choose your own hospital or clinic

In some cases you will have more than one clinic or hospital to choose from. The list of options will be the same whether you decide to book online or over the phone. Before you select your clinic and appointment slot, consider all the options such as:

  • How long do I have to wait for my first appointment?
  • How quickly can I start my treatment?
  • How far away is the hospital or clinic?

Learn more about your choices

In most cases you have the legal right to choose the hospital or service you'd like to go to. This will include many private hospitals, as long as they provide services to the NHS. Learn more about your choices in the NHS.

paper switch off

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e-Rs changes from October 2018

There are important changes to the e-Referral Service (eRS) being introduced from October 1, 2018 – but they should go unnoticed by patients.

From that date, NHS providers will only be paid for activity resulting from referrals made through eRS. This will support local health communities to plan for the paper switch off for elective referrals.

Any questions about the e-Referral Service?

Please contact enquiries@nhsdigital.nhs.uk.

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Leaflet

Download your patient leaflet here.