One of the steps towards digitising the NHS is introducing a new Electronic Referral System (e-RS), which will mean for you as a patient that any referral that your GP makes for a consultant led appointment will now be done electronically.
What is e-RS
e-RS is an electronic referral system. Nationally, there is a programme of work being carried out across the NHS to ensure all patient referrals are only sent electronically and traditional paper referral via letter are no longer used.
Benefits to you our patient
There are significant benefits to improving patient experience with this new electronic system. It gives patients as much choice as possible and where practicable, empowering patients to make the booking themselves. These include:
- Improves patient convenience. e-RS allows them to plan their visit for a time that best suits their family and work life.
- There is significant evidence that patients who are empowered to choose their own appointment are far more likely to attend their clinic slot.
- Similarly, where patients have greater choice, there is a reduction in re-arranged appointments.
- By going paperless, we cannot lose or misplace letters and e-RS provides an electronic trail of records that can be easily traced.
- And, by removing paper referrals we can speed up appointment confirmation for patients at the click of a button.
Key Dates of importance are as follows:
|9 April 2018:
Soft Paper switch off
|GPs still sending in paper/fax and e mail referrals will be contacted by the Trust and advised that referrals should be sent via e-RS. These referrals will continue to be processed during this phase. All practices should have received training by this date|
|1 July 2018:
Hard Paper switch off
|The CCG will contact any practice sending paper/fax and e-mail referrals and these referrals will be returned having not been actioned in order for the GP practice to resubmit via e-RS. All practices will be supported by the CCG and the Acute Trust to refer electronically if they send a fax, e-mail or paper referral before this date.|
|1 October 2018:
National Paper switch off
|Acute trusts will only receive payment for referrals received via e-RS.|