The Directory of Service, referred to as ‘the directory’ or DoS, is a clinically focused directory of all commissioned healthcare services by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and NHS England’s dental and pharmacy directorates.
The directory is the NHS version of the phonebook and is available to all clinicians working within or for the NHS. The service was commissioned by NHS England and each CCG in England is required to update it on an ongoing basis.
Working with commissioners and their respective service providers, services are profiled onto the directory enabling users to make informed decisions regarding the appropriateness of the services local to patients in need.
Within the ambulance service, our 999 and 111 divisions use the directory to inform decisions regarding patient referrals. We also host the Regional Directory of Service team, which is accountable for the quality and accuracy of the directory for the North West.
This team works in conjunction with four local directory teams based in Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire and Lancashire with Cumbria. These teams are responsible for the day to day management, update and development of the directory.
Directory of Service – profiles
Each commissioned service has a profile which contains the following key pieces of information:
- Name and address of the service
- Opening and closing times of the service (including bank holidays)
- Clinical referral information
- Geographical area covered
- Any other relevant information to assist a referral
All the information above has to be signed off by the commissioner of the service (i.e. CCGs or NHS England).
In addition, work goes in the background to ensure all services are clinically assured and that the directory presents services that are clinically appropriate and timely, following on from the patient’s assessment.
Frequently asked questions
Q – How is the directory maintained to ensure it is accurate and up to date?
A – The directory is quality assured by a small expert team who work with CCG and NHS England commissioners and their respective service providers to ensure each service’s profile is current.
Q – I am a service provider and what/how my service is provided is about to change. How do I update my existing directory profile to reflect these changes?
A – Please contact your CCG or NHS England commissioner in the first instance who will in turn contact the appropriate Directory of Service manager.
Q – My service is very busy and I would like my Directory of Service profile turning off.
A – Capacity management related queries should be reported to your CCG director on call in the first instance. They will advise of you the appropriate next steps.
Q – I am a member of the public and I would like access to the directory.
A – The directory is not available to the public, it is designed to help NHS staff to be able to refer patients, to the right service, first time, safely. The directory is key component when you use both the NHS 111 and emergency service
The directory does play a part in the NHS.uk website, which is a service designed for use by the public.