Referrer responsibilities

The non-admitted Specialist clinics in Victorian public hospitals: access policy requires health professionals to communicate effectively to optimise patient care.

Responsibilities of referring clinicians

  • Considering options available to the patient in the community setting and informing the patient of current treatment options so that the patient can participate in decision making about their future care and treatments.
  • Ensuring that referrals to health services for non-admitted specialist services are made with the patient’s agreement, recognise the content of any advance care directive and include that the patient has agreed that their personal and health information can be shared with the health service.
  • Complying with statewide or local referral criteria and providing complete and accurate information on the referral request (minimum referral content required) to streamline the referral process and patient access.
  • Continuing to monitor the patient’s condition and notifying the health service if there is a change in the patient’s condition that could impact on the urgency of treatment or the care required.

Clinical communication

As part of the clinical handover, referring clinicians should indicate one of the following as the reason for the referral request:

  • requesting services to establish a diagnosis, provide clinical assessment or inform a treatment plan
  • requesting partnership care between the patient, GP and the health service (such as patients with chronic or progressive conditions that require ongoing specialist advice, or services to improve and optimise people’s function and participation in activities of daily living)
  • requesting specific tests or investigations that cannot be ordered, accessed or interpreted through the primary care system
  • requesting treatments or an intervention.

Mercy Health professionals also aim to provide timely and effective clinical handover as required throughout the patient’s journey, and at completion of the episode of care.




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.

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.

The Specialist clinics in Victorian public hospitals: Access policy

  • Website: Access policy
  • About:

    The Specialist clinics in Victorian public hospitals: Access policy, outlines the government’s expectations of service delivery, including indicative timeframes for the implementation of key processes relating to specialist clinics.

Last reviewed October 30, 2019.

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