e-Referral Service is a national electronic referral service which gives patients a choice of place, date and time for their hospital outpatient appointment. The service has been in use since 2005 when it was also referred to as “Patient Choice”.
For you, the patient, e-Referral Service allows you to decide on where you would like your care provided by giving you a set of options to choose which clinic or hospital you wish to attend as well as a choice of dates and times for your appointment.
Your GP will arrange for a referral letter to be done and details will be provided to you to enable you to make your own booking via information provided to you on an appointment request letter which lists your unique booking reference number, your NHS number and a list of hospital or clinic options for you to choose from (sometimes this may be several choices but occasionally there may only be one choice). The letter will also show your unique password. This password will remain the same throughout your time using the e-Referral Service system as it is unique to you as an individual.
e-Referral Service provides flexibility enabling you to plan and manage your appointment to meet your individual needs around work, education or other commitments such as carer schedules or family availability. Once booked you are also able to check the status of your referral and to change or cancel an appointment easily over the telephone or internet by providing your unique password.