Booking, referrals and appointments (with IT)

Published on: 27th May 2022 | Updated on: 27th May 2022

Digital technology can facilitate health and care staff to support referrals in and out of pharmacy and can support  patients to book an appointment efficiently.

User research opportunity: NHS Digital would like to hear from community pharmacy team members about the new Booking and Referral Standard (BaRS) to ensure it supports the needs of pharmacy teams and their patients. BaRS is an interoperability standard for healthcare IT systems which is intended to enable booking and/or referral information to be sent to or from care providers quickly, safely and in a format that is useful to clinicians. If you would like to take part or have any questions, please contact

Types of appointments

Appointment types booked via technology could include:

  • Pre-Bookable Walk-In Appointments
  • Remote consultations
  • Virtual Visits pilot appointments

Patients maybook an appointment using a website, an app, the phone. They may also make an appointment in person.

Lists of systems and suppliers

Systems and suppliers (bookings) with NHS assurance include:

Apps with appointment systems assured by the NHS:

IT standards

The use of  ‘standards’ within the health sector enables people, devices and systems to communicate in a more efficient and electronic manner. Standards can also reduce the need for health and care workers to ‘re-key’ booking related information and for patients to need to repeat themselves about their bookings.

There are several key IT standards related to booking and referrals:

Community Pharmacy IT Group (CP ITG) work

The CP ITG held a workshop to formulate views on this topic, click on the link to find out more read: CP ITG views about IT relating to booking, referrals and appointments.

Further info

If you have queries on this webpage or you require more information please contact


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