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A total of 150 acute hospital trusts and 7,110 GP practices have made the move to sending and receiving all first outpatient appointments through the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS).
NHS Digital has shared the success with all acute trusts managing to beat the 1 October deadline to fully move to e-RS, which is helping patients receive appointments faster, with NHS organisations using e-RS reporting that the number of patients that fail to attend appointments has dropped by up to half and patients have greater control over their appointments.
The move to e-RS also helps to vastly reduce the amount of paper used in the referral process, as well as providing patients with a greater choice of when and where their appointment will take place.
From October, trusts will only take electronic referrals from GPs and NHS Digital and NHS England are working together to support full implementation of e-RS.
Steve Firman, the senior responsible owner for the e-RS programme at NHS England, said: “The NHS e-Referrals service works safely and quickly, it is a fantastic achievement all 150 acute hospital trusts are now on board ahead of the 1 October deadline. This is a result of months of hard work by trusts, their healthcare communities, CCGs and staff at NHS England and NHS Digital who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the system is ready in time.”