NHS e-Referral Service: information for GPs

 

Further to the national drive to utilise the NHS E-Referral System (e-RS), Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust have established an internal e-RS steering group to roll out the system across the hospital and review all current services. We are also working together with Lambeth, Southwark, Bromley CCG as well as King’s College Hospital – Denmark Hill and Princess Royal University Hospital and have a joint steering group.

This programme will help the Trust meet the conditions of the NHS Standard Contract where, from 1 October 2018, providers:

‘need not accept (and will not be paid for any activity resulting from) referrals by GPs to Consultant-led acute outpatient services made other than through the NHS e-Referral Service’.

All of our specialties are in the process of reviewing their service documents, updating the current published directory and carrying out preparatory work for all appointments to be made available to book via e-RS.

Our aim is to switch from paper forms to e-RS across the Trust in a phased approach from now until March 2018.

We now have had two phases stop accepting GP referrals from forms other than e-RS (e.g. paper and email referrals).

Phase one went live 1 September 2017 and included:

      • Diabetes (acute services)
      • Dermatology
      • Gynaecology
      • Ophthalmology
      • Neurology
      • Two week wait referrals
      • Antenatal Assessment Service (this is for GP referrals, patients can continue to self-refer via other routes)
      • Lambeth Integrated MSK Service (assessment service)

Phase two went live 1 December 2017 and included:

      • Allergy (adults and paediatrics)
      • Breast (non 2WW)
      • Endocrinology
      • Haematology
      • Nephrology
      • Rheumatology

From 1 February 2018 we will be rolling out phase three of the e-RS paper switch-off programme. These services are:

      • Cardiology
      • Ear, Nose & Throat
      • Elderly Care
      • General Medicine
      • Plastics Surgery
      • Respiratory Medicine
      • Sleep Medicine
      • Vascular Surgery

Please ensure that all clinicians at your practice are aware of the need to refer via e-RS for these specialities. Please also ensure that you have systems in place to identify returned email referrals and to ensure that these are re-referred to the trust via e-RS.

Any non e-RS referrals sent to Guy's and St Thomas', for these specialties listed above, by GPs will be returned to the referring practice. Only referrals made via e-RS will be accepted. This includes all new routine, urgent and two week rule referrals.

 Referrals from the below sources will continue to be accepted:

  • tertiary referrals
  • referring organisation not connected to NHS e-RS, eg: dentists, optometrists
  • self-referrals

Helpful tips

As a teaching hospital and tertiary centre, some of our services are more specialised than others. Therefore, before referring patients into our ‘general services’, please look to see if there is a more appropriate specialised service for that patient’s particular condition. Some areas, eg: ophthalmology, have condition specific services set up.

Where possible, please address referrals to ‘Dear doctor/colleague’ and not to a specific consultant. If you would like your patient seen by a specific consultant please put this in the body of the referral letter or use the named clinician functionality.

Please attach the referral in e-Referral Service as soon as possible – the recommended time scale is three days for routine referrals and within 24 hours for two week wait. We cannot see the patient without a referral.

If you have any queries regarding access/training for e-RS, please contact your local GP IT facilitator.

 

 
 

More referral information

For referral information about our services not on the e-Referral Service, please see our A-Z referral guide.