e-Referrals service (e-RS)

NCL Wide

The NHS e-Referrals Service (e-RS) can be used for Advice or Referral. For referrals it combines electronic booking with a choice of place, date and time for first hospital or clinic appointments (where no appointments displayed please Defer to provider).

eRS contacts

To chase the outcome of an e-RS request, see Hospital contacts for chasing e-RS issues

For any technical eRS queries, email: nclicb.itandsystems@nhs.net. It will be logged and be passed on to Richard to respond. 

Advice and Guidance

eRS Advice and Guidance offers clinicians the ability to get a prompt response from local hospital specialists about management advice of a patient, often saving the need for a referral.


When submitting e-RS referrals:

  • select the referral priority (‘Routine’,‘Urgent’,‘2WW')
  • Select the appropriate 'Specialty' and 'Clinic Type'. 
  • click ‘Search’ to find and select the hospital service you are looking for
  • select ‘Appointment search’ to bring up appointments to book.

There will be various scenarios you could encounter when trying to book an e-RS appointment:

  • you can see available appointment dates and times to book into
  • 'Defer to provider' shows if no appointments are available.
  • Referral Assessment Service (RAS) - appointments are not directly bookable and the provider will:

    • assess the Clinical Referral Information from the GP/referrer, without the need for an appointment being booked

    • decide on the most appropriate onward clinical pathway

    • contact the patient to discuss choice (if an elective referral) and arrange an appointment, where needed.

  • Clinical Assessment Services (CAS) - administrative slots are directly bookable (These are not appointment times for patients to attend or receive a phone/video call) and the referral will be triaged by a consultant and the patient will be contacted to confirm one of the following outcomes:
    • a first out-patient appointment is required, which will be booked by the provider
    • an investigation is required before a first out-patient appointment, which will be arranged by the triaging consultant
    • an investigation is required to determine whether the patient needs to be seen - the triaging clinician will review the results to determine this
    • referral is deemed appropriate but needs to be booked under a different specialty - these referrals will be sent back to the referrer to redirect to the correct service
    • referral is deemed inappropriate and will be sent back to the referrer.

For further information about e-RS and its functionalities, please visit the e-referral section of the NHS Digital site (see Useful resources).

Review date: Wednesday, 04 September 2024