The NHS e-Referral Service is a national electronic referral service that allows you to choose the place, time and date for your first outpatient appointment. You may be able to book it in the GP surgery at the point of referral, or later at home on the phone or online.

If you have been referred to a hospital or clinic through the NHS e-Referral Service, booking your appointment online or over the phone is easy, safe and secure.

You’ll need:

  • The booking reference number stated on your booking letter

  • The password or access code you were given by the person or organisation that referred you (for example, your GP practice)

If you have been referred but don’t have your booking reference number or a password or access code, please contact the person or organisation that referred you.

You can also use the online service and telephone appointment lines to manage your appointment, which will allow you to:

  • Check your appointment details

  • Change your appointment

  • Cancel your appointment

  • Cancel your referral

How to choose your hospital or clinic

In some cases you’ll have more than one clinic or hospital to choose from. The list of options will be the same if you book online or over the phone.

Before you select your clinic and appointment slot, consider all the options.

For example:

  • How long do I have to wait for my first appointment?

  • How quickly can I start my treatment?

  • How far away is the hospital or clinic?

In most cases you have the legal right to choose the hospital or service you’d like to go to. This will include many private hospitals, as long as they provide services to the NHS.

What to do if you haven’t been referred yet

If you want to be seen at a hospital or clinic, you’ll need to speak to your GP. They’ll help you decide what care is best for you and make any necessary referrals.