Western Health offers comprehensive Adult, Paediatric and Women's Specialist services to referring general practitioners and people of the west.
To ensure referrals can be triaged appropriately, referrals need to meet the minimum referral information requirements (clinical and clerical) as detailed below:
Name of specialist clinic and/or name of clinician to whom the patient is being referred
Reason for referral e.g. assessment only, assessment and management, assessment and share management with GP, diagnostic procedure, suitable for day surgery, second consultant opinion
Medical History – current and relevant past
Relevant investigations and pathology (within 3 months)*
Current management of the condition and response to this.
*Please note that many clinics require specific tests, assessments or supporting diagnostics to be undertaken prior to the referral, please refer to the Specialist Clinic Referral Directory for more information.
Up-to date contact details including address, daytime contact numbers for patient and GP
Medicare number, DVA number if applicable
Need for an interpreter and which language
Other relevant information (such as family support)
Date of referral and period for which the referral is valid
Referrer's provider number
Referrals with insufficient information to facilitate triage may be returned with a request for additional information which may delay access to the service.
Some of the specialist clinics at Western Health are MBS funded clinics. There are no out of pocket expenses for the patient at these clinics but referrals to MBS clinics must:
· Be addressed to a named clinician
· Include GP provider number & patient Medicare number
Currently Western Health can only accept referrals via mail or fax - fax is preferred. At this stage, Western Health cannot accept referrals via the outpatient email address as this is unsecure.
Western Health encourages the use of the GP Referral Form (previously known as the Victorian State-wide Referral Form (VSRF)). The GP Referral Form is an embedded template in the following applications:
Medical Director (MD3) – 'letter writer/ supplied templates'
Best Practice - 'supplied template'
For assistance with accessing the GP Referral Form, or to have it uploaded into your practice software contact your Medicare Local for assistance.
Before a Specialist Clinics appointment is made for the patient, referrals received by Specialist Clinics go through several steps.
1. Quality assurance process - clerical
A check by clerical staff that the referral contains the required clerical information
2. Quality assurance process – clinical
A check by nursing staff that the referral contains the required clinical information
3. Triage – Registrar or Consultant
The registrar or consultant will use the information you provide to triage the referral for urgency and determine the most appropriate clinic. Including as much information as possible is critical to ensure that the patient is triaged to the most appropriate clinic in the most appropriate time frame.
4. Waitlist /make appointment
Depending on the triage category; Urgent, Category 1, Category 2, Category 3, the patient will either be allocated an appointment or placed on a waiting list.
5. Notification of appointment
Patients will be notified by mail of their appointment, except in the case of Urgent appointments where the patient will be contacted by phone.
Waiting time for appointments to Western Health Specialist Clinics is variable depending on the urgency of the illness/injury.
Urgent appointments are generally seen within 1 month
Semi urgent in 2 - 3 months
Routine appointments from 3+ months.
It is appreciated if GPs could contact Western Health if their patient no longer needs their appointment to ensure that appointment times are able to be given to others waiting.
GPs are kept informed of the outcome of their referral throughout the process at several stages:
When the referral has been triaged the referring GP will receive automatic notification sent via the ehealth Gateway
When the appointment has been booked the referring GP will receive automatic notification sent via the ehealth Gateway
Once your patient is seen in an outpatient clinic, the consultant or registrar will write a progress letter to the referring GP
Interpreting services are provided free of charge within the hospital. Please request an interpreter for the language required when the appointment is made.
Adult Specialist Clinics Phone 8345 6490 Fax 8345 6856
Women's ClinicPhone 8345 1727 Fax 8345 1691
Paediatric Specialist ClinicsPhone 8345 1616 Fax 8345 1079
General Practice IntegrationPhone 8345 1735 Fax 8345 1180Email [email protected]