Capability Framework – Werribee Mercy Hospital Emergency Department

The following services are not currently available at WMH:
  • acute specialties including ear, nose and throat (ENT), gastroenterology, neurology, vascular and plastics
  • management of haematemesis and melaena
  • cardiac catheter laboratory
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • acute gastrointestinal scoping
  • interventional radiology
  • electroencephalogram (EEG)
Department Availability at Werribee Mercy Hospital
Emergency Department Yes (24 hours)
Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Yes (24 hours)
Critical care unit (CCU) No
Pathology Yes (24 hours)
Radiology Yes (24 hours)


Falls Yes – No to suspected NOF fractures
Fractures Yes – No longbone
Dislocations Yes – simple
Fractured Femur No
Wounds Yes
Wounds Plastics No
Pneumothorax Yes
Children under 16 – Fractures No – if ongoing treatment or admission needed
Concussion Yes

Emergency surgery

Children under 16 No
General Surgery Yes
Orthopaedic – Adult Yes – simple
Orthopaedic – Paediatric No
Urology Yes
Neurology No
Vascular No


Children under 18 Yes
Angina – unstable No
APO –Severe Yes
Anaphylaxis Yes
Asthma Yes
Cardiac Arrest – Post Yes
Chest pain Yes – No ST Elevation (no cath lab onsite)
Endocrinology – (DKA & HONK) Yes
Gastroenterology No
Headaches Yes
Heart Failure Yes – if stable
Infectious Disease Yes
Oncology Yes – preferably home hospital
Respiratory Yes
Seizures – Multiple Yes
Seizures – Uncomplicated Yes
Septicaemia Yes
Stroke / TIA Yes – VST onsite
Syncope Yes

Mental Health

Children Psych Yes
Adult Psych Yes
Geriatric Psych Yes

Women’s health

Gynaecology Yes – adults and children
Obstetrics Yes – adults only

Specific presentations as per Statewide referral Criteria



Recurrent tonsillitis

Acute tonsillitis with:

  • difficulty in breathing
  • unable to tolerate oral intake
  • uncontrolled fever

Vertigo (ENT)

  • Sudden onset debilitating vertigo where the patient is unsteady on their feet or unable to walk without assistance
  • Barotrauma with sudden onset vertigo, or symptoms suggestive of stroke or transient ischaemic attacks



Chronic refractory constipation

  • Suspected large bowel obstruction
  • Faecal impaction that has not responded to adequate medical management.

Constipation with sentinel findings

  • Suspected large bowel obstruction
  • Faecal impaction that has not responded to adequate medical management.

Diarrhoea with sentinel findings

  • Severe diarrhoea with dehydration or when the person is systemically unwell.

Persistent iron deficiency

  • Shortness of breath or chest pain, syncope or pre-syncope with iron deficiency (ferritin below the lower limit of normal). **Refer to HealthPathways for iron deficiency management in primary care. See also management of anaemia and Werribee Mercy Hospital Medical Day Stay)




  • Severe, uncontrolled pelvic pain
  • Known endometriosis with:
    • hydronephrosis or
    • bowel obstruction.

Ovarian and other adnexal pathology

  • Acute, severe pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Suspected torsion of ovary
  • Suspected pelvic sepsis
  • If the woman is haemodynamically unstable.

Persistent pelvic pain

  • Acute, severe pelvic or abdominal pain.

Persistent vaginal bleeding

  • Uncontrolled vaginal bleeding, or if the woman is haemodynamically unstable



Epilepsy and seizures

  • Seizure with:
    • focal deficit post-ictally
    • seizure associated with recent trauma
    • persistent severe headache for more than 1 hour post-ictally
    • fever.
  • Prolonged or recurrent seizure (more than one in 24 hours) with incomplete recovery
  • Persisting altered level of consciousness.


  • Headache with:
    • sudden onset or thunderclap headache
    • severe headache with signs of systemic illness (fever, neck stiffness, vomiting, confusion, drowsiness, dehydration)
    • severe disabling headache
    • severe headache associated with recent head trauma.
  • Headache suggesting temporal artheritis (focal neurological symptoms, altered vision, elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein in patients more than 50 years of age).

Stroke or transient ischaemic attack

  • Transient ischaemic attack(s) in last 48 hours
  • Multiple or recurrent transient ischaemic attack episodes in the last seven days
  • Amaurosis fugax in last 48 hours
  • Persistent neurological deficit

Vertigo (neurology)

  • Sudden onset debilitating vertigo where the patient is unsteady on their feet or unable to walk without assistance
  • Sudden onset vertigo with other neurological signs or symptoms (e.g. dysphasia, hemiparesis, diplopia, facial weakness)
  • Barotrauma with sudden onset vertigo




  • Severe urinary tract bleeding.

Lower urinary tract symptoms

  • Acute, painful urinary retention.

Renal tract stones or renal colic

  • Acute or severe renal or ureteric colic
  • Proven ureteric stone in people with a single kidney or kidney transplant
  • Infected or obstructed kidney.

Scrotal abnormalities

  • Acute scrotal pain
  • Torsion of the testes



Deep vein thrombosis

  • Present or suspected acute iliofemoral or supra-inguinal deep vein thrombosis
  • Present or suspected acute axillary or subclavian vein thrombosis


Primary Care Liaison Team

  • Email address:
  • About:

    The team is available on a part time basis to assist general practice with navigating hospital services and accessing GP education and credentialing. Email and voicemail messages will be responded to during business hours.

Statewide Referral Criteria for Specialist Clinics - Victoria

  • Website: Statewide Referral Criteria
  • About:

    The Department of Health and Human Services has developed statewide referral criteria to assist GPs and clinicians referring patients to specialist clinics. These referral criteria have been developed to improve access to specialist clinics in public hospitals by improving the quality and appropriateness of referrals.

HealthPathways Melbourne

  • Email address:
  • Website: HealthPathways Melbourne
  • About:

    HealthPathways Melbourne provides clinicians with a single website to access clinical and referral pathways, and resources. Pathways are created by local GPs, working in partnership with specialists, nurses, allied health and other health professionals.

    Mercy Health recommends clinicians to access HealthPathways Melbourne for guidance in assessing, managing and referring for patient conditions (login required).

    Referrals to outpatient clinics at Mercy Health will be triaged against clinical information and investigations based on these guidelines.

    Referrals that do not meet the required clinical information and investigations will not be accepted.

    HealthPathways Melbourne is available for free to health professionals working in the North Western Melbourne and Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network catchments.

    Email HealthPathways to request access or if you need to confirm your username and password.

Last reviewed March 9, 2020.

Referral instructions and templates

Referrals to specialist clinics at Mercy Health can now be sent via HealthLink. To assist with appropriate referral triage and management, GP practices with compatible software are encouraged to send their referrals via HealthLink.

Referral instructions and templates

Referral contact details

A quick listing page for our most commonly used referral contact details. To refer a patient, please complete an eReferral via HealthLink SmartForms or alternatively send a fax to the relevant area, service or specialist clinic.

Referral contact details

Minimum referral requirements

The non-admitted specialist services access policy advises that referrers are responsible for including the minimum referral content required for all referrals. Learn more about the mandatory information required for a referral request to be accepted and clinically prioritised.

Minimum referral requirements