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e-Referrals to be introduced “later this year”

16 May 2014

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Choose and Book will be replaced by e-Referrals later this year, NHS England has confirmed. 

Choose and Book, the electronic appointment booking service, has cost the NHS £365 million over the past ten years. 

e-Referrals will be a more “efficient” service, which better meets the needs of the NHS and patients, NHS England has pledged. 

Beverley Bryant, director of strategic systems and technology for NHS England said: “This isn’t bout reinventing the wheel, it is about taking the next step.

“We want a system that is quick, easy and beneficial for healthcare professionals to use and ultimately improves patient experience by providing flexibility and choice around the services we offer wherever the patient is.

“When Choose and Book was designed back in 2003 agile, open technologies were not readily available.  A major objective of the new NHS E-Referrals system will be to introduce functionality for patients as well as clinicians to facilitate Choice and to make the whole booking experience more user-friendly.”