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NHS e-Referrals

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:

Online by accessing NHS e-Referrals through NHS e-Referrals (you will need to have your UBRN and password to hand); or by 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.

Why has my GP booked me into a service with a 2 am appointment? 

These are 'dummy' appointments that keep your details in our system. It is not an appointment for you to attend. In order to differentiate this from normal appointments, we set the time to 2am. Your appointment details will also state '(not for patient attendance)'. 

We are sorry for the confusion that this may cause.  We are currently working in partnership with NHS England to update our software so that we can remove the need to book a ‘dummy appointment’.  We hope to have this improvement in summer 2024.

If you have the NHS App, your 'dummy' appointment may look like the below.

Screenshot of NHS App with text 'You have 1 upcoming appointment. Booked appointment - Wednesday 22 November 2023, 2am. Heart Palpitation Referral Triage (Not for patient attendance)York - York Teaching Hospital NHS'. Screenshot from NHS App with text 'Information - Please note this is not an appointment for you to attend hospital. This is confirmation that your GP has referred you for clinical assessment. If you have not been given a date/time to contact the hospital

Looking down a long bright hospital corridor with treatment rooms on the left and windows on the right. At the bottom of the corridor is one member of staff in a blue nursing uniform

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