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NHS e-Referral system will save a whopping 80%

NHS England has claimed that its new e-Referral service will operate at around 20 per cent of the costs of its predecessor, the retiring Choose and Book programme.

Originally introduced in 2004, Choose and Book was a way for outpatients to book hospital appointments online.

Although the scheme was praised by some, the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee claimed it had been a “missed opportunity” and opportunities for savings had been missed.

NHS England says it will take the successful elements of this programme and build on them to form the e-Referral service.

Testing has been in progress for some time now and the go live date in November this year missed, testing is ongoing until deployment now expected in Spring 2015.

Before it can go live, says NHS England, the new software must be checked to make sure that it is fully functional, clinically safe and that partner systems can properly integrate with it easily.