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Electronic Referral System will become mandatory for GPs

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As you will be aware, the Standard NHS Contract for 2018/19 requires the full use of the NHS e-Referral Service (NHS e-RS) for all consultant led first outpatient appointments. From 1 October 2018, providers will no longer be paid for activity which results from referrals made other than through the NHS e-RS. NHS England and NHS Digital are driving this programme with Trusts across the Country, and it’s being referred to as 'Paper Switch Off'.

Derby Teaching Hospitals, with the support of NHS England, NHS Digital and Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, aim to be compliant by the end of 2017 in order to ensure that everything will then be in place prior to the formal October 2018 deadline. 

We want to share with you the work that Derby is currently doing behind the scenes as it may not be immediately obvious. We are working with those services which receive the highest number of referrals to look at their capacity and demand. This is a significant piece of work which will ensure that every single possible appointment is electronically available in NHS e-RS.  

We really value the work that GP colleagues are already undertaking to support this work by submitting as many referrals as possible using NHS e-RS.  Please be assured any attempted booking resulting in ‘defer to provider’ will be closely monitored and managed by the Trust until an appointment booking can be made. A list of specialities that are not currently able to receive referrals in this way, which we refer to as the ‘Exclusions List’,  will be available on the Trust’s website in due course.

From 1 January 2018, Derby Teaching Hospitals will implement ‘Paper Switch Off’ and will work with GP and Practice colleagues, with the support of SDCCG, to understand those referrals which continue to come in by paper. This will lead to the return of paper referrals to the relevant GP practice as part of the embedding period before the deadline of 1 October 2018. Further information is available on our website by searching Using the NHS e-Referral Service.

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