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NHS e-Referral Service

Ers Infographic

Paper switch off in NW London August 2018
The NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) formerly known as ‘Choose and Book’, is a national electronic booking service. From 1 August this year all GP to consultant referrals must be made through eRS as trusts begin to switch off paper and email referrals.  Please note that Hillingdon Hospital has an earlier switch off date of the 1st of July for all specialties and London North West Healthcare on the 1st of July for some specialties.

The aim of e-RS is to transform the referral process, bringing together referrers, providers and commissioners to provide patients with a choice of place, date and time for first hospital or clinic appointments.

Changes to the GMS contract regarding eRS 
The Standard Contract for 2018/19 requires the full use of the NHS e-RS for all consultant-led first outpatient appointments. From 1 October 2018, 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.

The new GP contract, which will take effect from 1 April 2018, includes a further investment of £10 million, to support full implementation of e-RS, to make it available at every GP practice by October 2018.

What does it mean for patients?

With a choice of place, date and time for first hospital or clinic appointments and the option to cancel or change the appointment if necessary, patients are given greater choice and flexibility, improving the patient journey. Patients can manage their referral on NHS choices.

Lady With Baby

Key dates - implementation in NW London
NW London CCGs are switching off 1 August, earlier than the final October deadline as part of a phased approach by NHS digital. We have been working closely with the trusts over the past year to increase the specialities and slots available to book into on e-RS.

The key switch off dates for the following acute trusts are:

  • The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - 2 July
  • Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust - 1 August
  • London North West Healthcare NHS Trust - 1 August
  • Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust - 1 September
  • Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust - 1 August
  • Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust - 1 August
  • The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust - 28 August
  • Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust - 1 September
  • Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust - 3 September
  • Great Ormond Street Hospital Trust for Children NHS Foundation Trust - 3 September 

Training and support

There are a range of resources and contacts to support your transition to eRS:

  • view our step by step videos SystmOne and Emis Web
  • read the NHS digital referral guidance and practice on a live test site
  • read our FAQ - coming soon
  • report any technical issues or request training by contacting the NW London GP IT helpdesk. Telephone number 0203 350 4050, email nwlccg.servicedesk@nhs.net
  • contact your local eRS lead who is available to provide additional training, trouble shooting and support, see contact details below.

Guidance documents
NHS England have now published the Standard contract guidance. This guidance should be read in conjunction with the FAQs. For guidance on 2WW referrals, see pages 11-12.

If GPs are currently trying to make a referral and there is no appointment available to book into, they can use the ‘Defer to Provider’ function.

North West London specific guidance documents

North West London Standard Operating Procedure

Worklists document

NHS e-Referrals FAQ


Your local GP IT leads:



Contact email

Dr Simon Gordon

Central London CCG


Dr Richard Baxter

Hounslow CCG


Dr Tony Willis

Hammersmith & Fulham CCG


Dr Laurie Slater (e-RS/IG Lead)

Hammersmith & Fulham CCG


Dr Alan Selwyn

Brent CCG


Dr Kulshik Karia

Harrow CCG


Dr Kuldir Johal

Hillingdon CCG


Dr Alex Fragoyannis 

Ealing CCG


Dr Shanker Vijayadeva

Ealing CCG


Useful links

Reports and statistics 

NHS choices

NHS digital

LNWH phase 2 comms 

Specialist trust switch off dates

Comms to GPs

Standard operating procedure 

ICHT e-RS published services