NWAS' Electronic Referral Information Sharing System (ERISS) is available on www and N3 for all health and social care providers in the North West. 

E - Ease of access to ambulance referrals for all service providers (via N3 and the internet)
R - Right information to the right organisation to improve patient care
I - Improved Information Governance through paperless processes and enforcement of review cycles
S - Strengthens data quality through automated reminders
S - System wide benefits through post referral feedback

Referral and Alert Management

ERISS serves to enhance the communications between North West Ambulance Service and its other key stakeholders to help improve patient care and their integral outcomes.

ERISS provides a secure, single point of access for the sharing of patient information between organisations.  It is an easy to use, intuitive system, which has been developed in conjunction with clinicians and professional groups.

How does ERISS work?

There are two main functions within ERISS; referral processing and alert request management.  If an ambulance crew attend an incident where after treatment, the patient does not require transfer to hospital, the ambulance staff can check which referral pathways are available within that area.  A referral can be created within ERISS, which alerts the appropriate care provider. 

The referral will then be securely managed within the system, ensuring that all referrals are followed up and providing reporting capabilities.

A number of common referral types are provided by the system (e.g. Diabetes, Falls and Safeguarding), each of which will be routed to an appropriate care provider.

Operating in the opposite direction, ERISS provides a method for GP's to 'Alert' NWAS to the presence of care plans or medical conditions of patients when responding to an emergency call to their address.  Details of conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease (COPD) and End of Life Palliative Care can be entered into ERISS, which will prompt NWAS users to update their computer-aided dispatch system, and remind the GP shortly before the alert is due to expire.

Business benefits delivered

As an emergency service, North West Ambulance Service demands a secure and reliable system.  ERISS provides a secure and central information sharing hub that has delivered the following benefits:

  • Improved clinical decision making and information sharing which delivers more appropriate care
  • Reduced demand for specific clinical areas
  • Reductions in unnecessary hospital admission, which will clearly help deliver savings
  • Ability to assess safety and effectiveness of pathways
  • Vastly improved quality of information being shared


For more information on ERISS, please click here, or contact Steve Barnard, NWAS Head of Clinical Governance on 0161 279 4800 or email