Colorectal bowel disease

Emergency referrals

All urgent cases must be discussed with the on call Surgical Registrar to obtain appropriate prioritisation and treatment. Contact through:

  • Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital (07) 3646 8111
  • The Prince Charles Hospital (07) 3139 4000
  • Redcliffe Hospital (07) 3883 7777

Urgent cases accepted via phone must be accompanied with a written referral and a copy faxed immediately to the Central Patient Intake Unit: 1300 364 952.

Does your patient wish to be referred?

Minimum referral criteria

Does your patient meet the minimum referral criteria?

Category 1

Appointment within 30 days is desirable

  • Diagnosed malignancies
  • Palpable or visible anorectal mass
  • IBD
  • Recent significant unexplained weight loss
  • GI obstructive symptoms
  • Colovesical or colovaginal fistula
  • FOBT positive
  • Rectal bleeding with Red flags
Presence of Red flags
  • Dark blood coating or mixed with stool
  • Weight loss, ≥5% of body weight in previous 6 months
  • Abdominal / rectal mass
  • Iron deficiency in males and postmenopausal women or unexplained iron deficiency in premenopausal women
  • Patient and family history of bowel cancer (1st degree relative <55 years old)

Category 2

Appointment within 90 days is desirable

  • Chronic ongoing colorectal problems
  • Recurrent diarrhoea
  • Diverticular disease for evaluation
  • Rectal bleeding without any Red flags as articulated in category 1

Category 3

Appointment within 365 days is desirable

  • Pruritus ani

If your patient does not meet the minimum referral criteria

Consider other treatment pathways or an alternative diagnosis.

If you still need to refer your patient:

  • Please explain why (e.g. warning signs or symptoms, clinical modifiers, uncertain about diagnosis, etc.)
  • Please note that your referral may not be accepted or may be redirected to another service

Other important information for referring practitioners

Not an exhaustive list

  • Lifestyle modification (increased activity, dietary, weight, smoking, alcohol)
  • Correct iron deficiency and anaemia if possible
  • Routine follow-up of patients on treatments for IBD

Referral requirements

A referral may be rejected without the following information.

  • General referral information
  • Specific family history of gastrointestinal malignancy, polyposis or IBD
  • Previous gastroenterologist investigations and results (date, report and histology results) e.g. last 2-3 clinic letters
  • History of weight loss and/or ascites
  • History of bowel function:
    • altered bowel habit
    • rectal tenesmus
    • incomplete rectal emptying
    • PR blood, pus or mucus
    • flatus
    • mass
  • DRE findings and perianal condition
  • Co-morbid conditions and other risk factors
  • FBC LFT U&E CEA results
  • FOBT results
  • Biopsy result
  • Polyp histology results
  • Colonoscopy results

Additional referral information useful for processing the referral

  • Relevant imaging report/s
  • CT of chest, abdomen and pelvis results
  • Virtual CT report

Out of catchment

Metro North Health is responsible for providing public health services to the people who reside within its boundaries. Special consideration is made for patients requiring tertiary care or services that are not provided by their local Hospital and Health Service. If your patient lives outside the Metro North Health area and you wish to refer them to one of our services, inclusion of information regarding their particular medical and social factors will assist with the triaging of your referral.

  • Impact on employment
  • Impact on education
  • Impact on home
  • Impact on activities of daily living
  • Impact on ability to care for others
  • Impact on personal frailty or safety
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • To establish a diagnosis
  • For treatment or intervention
  • For advice and management
  • For specialist to take over management
  • Reassurance for GP/second opinion
  • For a specified test/investigation the GP can’t order, or the patient can’t afford or access
  • Reassurance for the patient/family
  • For other reason (e.g. rapidly accelerating disease progression)
  • Clinical judgement indicates a referral for specialist review is necessary
  • Presenting symptoms (evolution and duration)
  • Physical findings
  • Details of previous treatment (including systemic and topical medications prescribed) including the course and outcome of the treatment
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Details of any associated medical conditions which may affect the condition or its treatment (e.g. diabetes), noting these must be stable and controlled prior to referral
  • Current medications and dosages
  • Drug allergies
  • Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs use
  • Full name (including aliases)
  • Date of birth
  • Residential and postal address
  • Telephone contact number/s – home, mobile and alternative
  • Medicare number (where eligible)
  • Name of the parent or caregiver (if appropriate)
  • Preferred language and interpreter requirements
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • Full name
  • Full address
  • Contact details – telephone, fax, email
  • Provider number
  • Date of referral
  • Signature
  • Willingness to have surgery (where surgery is a likely intervention)
  • Choice to be treated as a public or private patient
  • Compensable status (e.g. DVA, Work Cover, Motor Vehicle Insurance, etc.)

Send referral

Hotline: 1300 364 938

Fax: 1300 364 952

Electronic: eReferral system

Mail: Metro North Central Patient Intake
Aspley Community Centre
776  Zillmere Road

Health pathways

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