Making a referral - information for GPs

From 1 October 2018, all GP referrals must be sent to us using the national e-Referral System (eRS), the new name for Choose & Book.

UHS uses two types of service on eRS:

Directly bookable service (DBS)

  • This allows the patient to make their own appointment at a convenient time and date for them.

Referral assessment service (RAS), sometimes called a triage service

  • This allows UHS clinicans to review the referral details before assigning the patient to a clinic. This is typically used where we offer a wide variety of services, and GPs or practices would not be expected to identify the correct one to refer to.
  • Patients will not be able to choose their own appointment time and date with this service.

We will return any referrals received outside of eRS back to the GP with instructions to refer back in using eRS. 

Two week wait referrals

Patients being referred as urgent with suspected cancer (two week waits or 2WW) will be accepted due to their clinical urgency.

Please remember that the national standard for 2WW referrals is for all patients to have an appointment booking attempt made before they leave the practice, to ensure there is no delay in their pathway.

Referral process

All referral documentation (such as referral letter, 2WW form and scans) should be attached within 24 hours for a 2WW referral, or 72 hours for a non-2WW referral.

UHS is only able to view a referral (and only becomes responsible for the 2WW or 18 week pathway of a patient) from the point at which a booking attempt is made, or a referral into a referral assessment service (RAS) is made.

Details of all rejected referrals and 2WW referrals made outside of eRS will be passed on to the CCGs for follow-up.

Rapid access services

Services where you would expect the patient to be seen in clinic within 48 hours are excluded from the national eRS mandate. Referrals should continue to be made in their existing manner.

Find out more

You can find out more about eRS on the NHS digital website, including details on helping patients to manage their referral online.