NHS e-Referral service

For reasons of safety and efficiency, all outpatient referrals, regardless of priority, are to be submitted using the NHS e-Referral Service (NHS e-RS); doing so will help us all to move towards NHS England’s mandate to ‘become paper-free at the point of care by 2020’.
Paper referrals will therefore only be accepted if:     

  • The NHS e-RS is temporarily unavailable
  • The referring organisation is not connected to the NHS e-RS
  • The required service is not available on the NHS e-RS

Any paper referrals must however be sent in via one of our generic email accounts and not by insecure fax. Referrers are assured that when there are no appointments available on NHS e-RS and the 'defer to provider' response is received, referrals will be read and triaged in priority and chronological order by a clinician. 

Exclusions to the NHS e-Referral service

From the lists of specialties provided by NHS Digital, please see which services and specialities are excluded from the NHS e-Referral Service or not applicable to our hospitals:

Download UHDB Exclusions list (opens in new window) [pdf]

Phasing out the use of fax machines

In support of NHS England’s additional desire to 'consign to the dustbin of history the outdated use of fax machines’, you may also wish to be aware that this Trust is in the closing stages of phasing out the use of fax machines for the same reasons of safety and efficiency. It will therefore be the responsibility of all referrers to ensure that they have alternative methods in place to securely and safely submit their referrals.

Minimum data required

To avoid unnecessary delays in the referral and booking process, please ensure that the following minimum dataset is included in all referrals and is highlighted in such a way as to be easily identifiable by booking staff:

  • Notification of any impairment, for example: communication difficulties; learning disabilities; mobility difficulties; or visual impairment (this key requirement supports us all to meet the NHS’s new Accessible Information Standard agenda)
  • Patient name
  • Patient address
  • Patient date of birth
  • Patient NHS number
  • Patient contact details (mobile/home phone number)
  • Name of referrer 
  • Patient previous hospital number (if applicable)