Booking, referrals and appointments (with IT)

Published on: 27th May 2022 | Updated on: 23rd August 2023

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. They may also help your paperless processing.

User research opportunity: Community Pharmacy England and NHS Digital are encouraging community pharmacy teams to share their views relating to the new NHS Booking and Referral Standard (BaRS). This will ensure that the tool supports the needs of pharmacy team members 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 and cc

Types of appointments

Appointment types booked via technology could include:

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

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

Lists of systems, services & 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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