Directory of services (DoS)

The Directory of Services – or ‘DoS’ – is a web-based directory with real-time information about services. By constantly improving the information, we can guide NHS 111 and 999 referrals, and reduce the pressure on A&Es.

The DoS team is leading on a series of projects to enhance the DoS in the North East – by improving content, analysing data and evaluating enhancements.

Making a difference

The DoS team is leading on a series of projects to enhance the DoS in the North East – by improving content, creating a mobile directory and setting up dental unscheduled care hubs.

That means more efficient referrals to the right service and a better patient journey overall. Following recent work to review DoS content, one hospital reported an average of seven fewer inappropriate Emergency Department referrals per day.

How it works

The DoS has multiple versions however the main focus and function of the DoS is to sit within the NHS Pathways System and refer patients to the right service, first time based on the outcome from the triage. This is all part of the NHS 111 service. NHS Pathways does not work on a basis of diagnosis but rather on a basis of ruling out. When it can no longer rule something out it will generate a disposition. The disposition is generate on Symptom Groups and Symptom Discriminators held within NHS Pathways. These are populated into the clinical profile of DoS allowing them to return for call handlers to direct patients. 

The DoS can also be used as a search tool for Mobile Directory used by paramedics.

Current projects

111 Online – following several pilots across England, 111 Online is soon to be rolled out nationally. This will allow patients or their representatives to ‘symptom check’ themselves using a computer, tablet or mobile device. Following assessment online, the user will be advised on appropriate next steps to self-care or get further assistance.

DoS Enhancements – The Directory of Services National Team have started the development cycle that will enhance the DoS functions available to us. The DoS team will evaluate the impact of each development before application to ensure that there is limited impact on current service provisions.

Due to the amount of enhancements due, the changes in services and standardisation developments, a DoS Insight Event ran in March for colleagues to attend. This event was well received. If you are interested in any future events please contact the DoS team at

Standardisation – The DoS team, with support from the Clinical Reference Group, have standardised the Urgent Treatment Centre profile for the region and is working through other DoS Service Types to standardise. This should make referrals to the services more accurate, appropriate and easier to follow. The current standardisation work is in relation to mental health, palliative care and GP Extended Hours services.



To find out more about how the DoS is improving efficiency and benefiting patients:

  • Contact the DoS team by email at or by phone on 0191 374 4183
  • Register for the partner zone (see above right – NHS and partner organisations only) for more detailed information