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NHS E-Referral Service

What is NHS e-Referral Service?

If you have been referred by your GP for an appointment with another healthcare provider, you may be able to book your appointment with NHS e-Referral Service, which replaced Choose and Book in June 2015. Most services are available via NHS e-Referral Service. You can choose the date and time of your appointment and your GP may be able to book your appointment there and then.

However, you have the right to think about your choices, compare different options and book your appointment at a later stage. If so, you’ll be given an appointment request letter, which includes your unique booking reference number, NHS Number and a list of hospitals or clinics to choose from. In addition you'll be given a password, which allows you to book your appointment via NHS e-Referral Service either by logging into NHS e-Referral Service online or over the phone using The Appointments Line 0345 6088888.


NHS e-Referral Service will also give you the ability to:

  • plan and manage your appointments around any existing appointments, if you are currently undergoing treatment
  • fit your treatment in with your other commitments, at home and at work
  • choose appointments that fit with your carer's schedule
  • check the status of your referral and change or cancel your appointments easily, either over the phone or online

Speak to your GP about your choices and read the section about choosing a hospital for more advice.

More information about how to use NHS e-Referral Service can be found in the FAQ section. If you can’t find the answer to your particular question in the FAQ section, or you want to raise any concerns, you can contact NHS e-Referral Service:

  • via email: enquiries@hscic.gov.uk
  • via The Appointments Line (TAL) Customer Services line on 01908 774 663 (Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, excluding bank holidays).
More than 90% of healthcare providers allow you to book your appointment through NHS e-Referral Service online or via The Appointments Line. Where this is not possible, this will be indicated on your Appointment Request letter by a picture of a phone next to the relevant provider. You or your GP will then have to book directly with the hospital or service using the phone number indicated on the letter. 



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