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Choose and Book

What is NHS e-Referrals (formerly Choose and Book)?

The NHS e-Referrals service allows you to decide which hospital or clinic you would like to attend when you need to see a specialist. You can also select the date and time of your first outpatient appointment that suits you. In most cases, you will be able to select that appointment on the same day you see your GP, either at the GP Surgery or from home using the NHS e-Referrals web-site or by telephone.

How to use NHS e-Referrals

When you and your GP agree that you need an appointment with a specialist, the NHS e-Referrals system shows your GP which hospitals or clinics are available options for treating your medical condition. Your GP will also give you a UBRN (Unique Booking Reference Number).

Your GP will help you to short-list which services you are interested in and if you know where and when you would like to be seen, you can if you wish, book your appointment before you leave the GP Surgery. You will be given confirmation there and then, of the place, date and time of your appointment.

However, you may want more time to consider your choices, or check with family, friends or work before booking your appointment. If so, you can book your appointment later. Your GP will print out an Appointment Request letter for you to take with you. This will contain your UBRN, details of the short-listed services and information about how to book your appointment. You will also receive a password in addition to your UBRN. This is used to make sure that only you or someone you have chosen to act on your behalf, can make or change you booking.

Should you wish to find out more about the hospitals or clinics available and compare and contrast them based on your needs, you can find out more details about them on the NHS Choices web-site.

Once you have decided which hospital you want to go to and when, you can then book your appointment:

  • On the Internet by accessing NHS e-Referrals through NHS e-Referrals (you will need to have your UBRN and password to hand).


  • On the telephone by contacting the national Telephone Appointments Line (TAL) on 0345 608 8888 between 7am and 10pm. You can also use either of these services to change or cancel your appointment. 

Below is a list of topics that cover the most common queries we receive about NHS e-Referrals and making an appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why has NHS e-Referrals been introduced?
National research has shown that patients want to be more involved in making decisions and choosing their healthcare. Most of the patients who are offered a choice of hospital view the experience as positive and valuable.

What difference has this made to the services offered by the Trust?
The Trust operates its outpatient services across several hospital sites. Patients can now choose which site they would prefer to be seen at and the date and time of their appointment. This means that patients have far greater flexibility about fitting their treatment in geographically, or time-wise around their home or work commitments.

Does the Trust offer all of its services on CNHS e-Referrals?
The Trust offers routine and urgent appointments for all of its main outpatient services through  NHS e-Referrals. A small number of these services have not yet been electronically enabled to accept appointments being made by GP Surgeries etc. However this information is explained on the NHS e-Referrals system. The GP can still send your referral to the hospital of your choice electronically and you can contact the Trust's outpatient call centre to arrange an appointment to suit your needs.

What if there are no appointments at the hospital of my choice?
Occasionally, there may not be an appointment at the hospital of your choice straight away. If this happens, your GP Surgery will issue you with a password for your UBRN and ask you to contact the TAL. If there are still no appointments available when you contact them, they will send a message to the Trust on your behalf, asking for us to contact you to arrange an appointment at your chosen hospital site, at a suitable date and time.

What if I’ve mislaid my UBRN?
Your UBRN is on the appointment request or appointment confirmation given to you at the time of referral by your GP. If you cannot find your letter, call your GP Surgery and they will be able to give you the number.

Where can I learn more about NHS e-Referrals?
Should you have any other questions or wish to learn more about the NHS e-Referrals system and its development nationally, more details are available via the NHS e-Referrals web-site.

NHS e-Referrals 

allows you to decide which hospital or clinic you would like to attend when you need to see a specialist.

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