NHS e-Referral system crashes two days after launch

The new system has replaced Choose and Book programme and allows patients to book, manage and cancel appointments. The NHS has said that more than 90 percent of healthcare providers will allow patients to book their appointments on the new services as part of the commitment to making all referrals electronic by 2018.

The new e-Referral service was originally scheduled to launch in November 2014 but it was delayed after it failed a series of criteria during an assessment by the Government Digital Service (GDS) and was told to carry out "significant additional work to demonstrate compliance with the required standards".

The rescheduled launch went ahead on Monday despite Health and Social Care Information Services (HSCIC) admitting there were 33 unresolved issues with the system including including slow loading, problems displaying forms and absent functionality.

A spokeswoman for the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), which is running the system, said: “The service is now available and we will continue to monitor around the clock. Our first priority remains ensuring minimal disruption to patients and professional users. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused.”

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