The NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) combines electronic booking with a choice of place, date and time for first hospital or clinic appointments. Patients can choose their initial hospital or clinic appointment, book it in the GP surgery at the point of referral, or later at home on the phone or online.
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Most medical problems are managed in GP surgeries. However, there are many local pathways and services in Islington your doctor may recommend or refer you to. Some services allow you to refer yourself. For most service the doctor will agree to refer you. To refer to many services, including local hospitals we use E-referrals.
This NHS leaflet explains what you can expect to happen if you are referred by your GP to see a specialist or consultant.
e-Referrals (formerly Choose and Book)
When you and your GP agree that you need an appointment with a specialist, the GP will write a referral and you can book your first hospital or clinic appointment using e-Referrals (formerly known as "Choose and Book"). e-Referrals is a service that lets you choose your hospital or clinic. You will also be able to choose the date and time of your first appointment.
The GP will give you a choice of hospital or clinic. You may already know which hospital you would like to be referred to. If you are not sure, there is useful information at www.nhs.uk which may help you decide.
Your GP may complete the referral during your appointment or a member of our administration team may process the referral after it has been agreed with the GP. You will be notified when your Booking Form is ready to collect from the Practice. The Booking Form has a unique booking reference and password you will need to make your appointment.
The Booking Form may have details of your booked appoitment time and date, or the option to make the appointment yourself online or by phoning the appointments line number listed. You will be offered various dates and times by the hospital or clinic so that you can choose the one which best suits you.
Occasionally, there are no appointments available to book on the system, in which case the hospital will be notified and will contact you directly to offer an appointment. This is called "defer to provider". There will be a telephone number you can call on your booking form to contact if you do not hear from the service after 2 weeks.
If you lose your Booking Form please telephone the Practice Secretary and we will be able to give you the details again.
If you do not book an appointment within 2 weeks of collecting your Booking Form, the hospital will send a reminder letter. If you have not booked an appointment within 1 month your referral may have been cancelled, so you will need to be referred again.
Please note that some clinics and hospital departments are not yet on the e-Referrals system. Your GP will know which clinics these are and will send a letter to them directly. The clinic or hospital will then write to you with an appointment date and time.
Some services such as the musculoskeletal services and a number of the hospital clinics now use a "telephone triage" service. This means you will not be given an appointment to attend but will be telephoned by someone to find out more information about your condition to decide on the best type of appointment and timeframe. Please ensure we have your up-to-date contact details so this process can work smoothly.