Central Referral Service guide for referrers

A reminder that the Central Referral Service postal address is GPO Box 2566, St Georges Terrace, WA 6831.

All correspondence, including any postal referrals, should be sent to this address. The Central Referral Service relocated from Midland to the Perth Central Business District in September 2021.

Steps to using the Central Referral Service

This online guide takes referrers through the 6 step process to complete a successful outpatient referral.

The Information for referrers guide (PDF 128KB) or Word 93KB is also available for download.

Step 1: Decide whether you need to refer through the CRS

The Central Referral Service (CRS) has been set up to allocate referrals for a first outpatient appointment with a specialist at a clinic within a public metropolitan hospital.

If this is a subsequent outpatient referral; continue to send your referral directly to the specialist.

Which referrals are accepted?

The CRS accepts referrals from a number of doctor-led specialities- for a full list of specialities in and out of scope of CRS please see The Central Referral Service Scope.

Once you have established the doctor-led specialty is included you can submit a referral using the CRS (PDF 179KB).

Which referrals are not accepted?

The CRS does not accept or process referrals to:

  • a private specialist
  • mental health services
  • rural outpatient services (except for public referrals for Gerontology, Haematology, Neurology and Paediatrics in the South West)
  • allied health outpatient services
  • non doctor-led outpatient services
  • Obstetrics.

Use your usual referral processes to refer outpatients to the above services.

Step 2: Download referral form

To begin, you need to complete one of the standardised referral forms and sent it on to the CRS.

Step 3: For immediate referrals, contact specialist directly

If a patient needs to be seen by the specialist within 7 days this is considered an immediate referral.

Immediate referrals require you to contact the specialty senior clinician or clinic staff at the nearest tertiary hospital by telephone to arrange an appropriately timed presentation.

Following your telephone discussion, you should complete a referral form clearly indicating Immediate and include the:

  • name of the clinician or clinical staff member you spoke with
  • name of the hospital
  • contact telephone number of the clinician or clinical staff member you spoke with
  • details of the telephone clinical advice on the referral.

The referral should be forwarded directly to the relevant hospital (usually by fax to the department/clinic as directed) to be available for the initial outpatient appointment.

Step 4: Complete the referral

To ensure that patients are directed to the most appropriate level and place of care in a timely manner, WA Health has minimum standards for outpatient referrals.

These standards are reflected in the referral template. If you are not using a WA Health referral form you must still satisfy the minimum standards for outpatients referrals.

Please note that a failure to comply with the above requirements will result in the referral being returned to you for completion.

Step 5: Send the referral

The CRS prefers receiving referral forms by secure messaging, there is no requirement to send the original referral by fax or post as our system tracks the referral through to acceptance by the hospital. There are a number of additional benefits associated with using secure messaging.

Referrals are sent via secure messaging at, Healthlink Secure Messaging: crefserv.

If you are unable to use secure messaging, CRS will accept referrals sent by fax or alternatively by post.

Referrals sent via fax: 1300 365 056
Referrals sent via post: GPO Box 2566, St Georges Terrace, WA 6831

Step 6: Acknowledgment receipt

When the CRS receives your referral you will be sent an automatic referral acknowledgement by fax or secure messaging from the CRS.

The CRS will then allocate your referral to the most appropriate hospital as soon as possible.

Once the hospital accepts the referral, both you and your patient will receive a notification of which site has accepted the referral.

You will receive a fax/secure message/letter and your patient will receive an SMS. If the patient does not have a mobile number, a letter will be sent instead.

The hospital site will then contact the patient to arrange an appointment closer to the required appointment date.

Once you have received notification that the referral has been accepted by the site, all further communication about the referral should be directed to that site.

Referral Access Criteria

Colonoscopy and gastroscopy procedure requests

From 20th January 2017 all colonoscopy and gastroscopy procedure requests to metropolitan public hospitals are to be submitted to the Central Referral Service. View the referral forms.

Referral guidelines have also been developed to assist in identifying patients with strong clinical indications for colonoscopy/gastroscopy and to define the access criteria for public gastrointestinal endoscopy services.

Referrals not meeting these criteria (as determined by the triaging clinician) will not be accepted.

Access more information on requests for direct access colonoscopy and gastroscopy services.

Ear, nose and throat Referral Access Criteria

Adult ENT referrals

Referral Access Criteria (RAC) are clinical decision support tools that will standardise the referral process for public outpatient services in Western Australia (WA).

See the Adult ENT Referral Access Criteria.

Paediatric ENT referrals

See the Paediatric ENT Referral Access Criteria.

Note: the following paediatric exclusions apply to ENT referrals to Fiona Stanley Hospital (these should be directed to Perth Children’s Hospital):

  • neonates (less than 3 months old) 
  • child weight < 10kg – if there is no weight recorded, then if the child is less than 12 months old they should be referred to Perth Children's Hospital
  • requires paediatric nasendoscopy
  • paediatric patients with severe congenital, developmental syndromes.
Neurology Referral Access Criteria

Referral Access Criteria (RAC) are clinical decision support tools that will standardise the referral process for public outpatient services in Western Australia (WA).

See the Neurology referral criteria.

Urology Referral Access Criteria

Referral Access Criteria (RAC) are clinical decision support tools that will standardise the referral process for public outpatient services in Western Australia (WA).

See the urology referral criteria.

Referral guidelines – patients with breast implants in relation to BIA-ALCL

Resources for Secure Messaging

More information

Central Referral Service
Healthlink Secure Messaging: crefserv
: 1300 551 142
Fax: 1300 365 056
Email the CRS 
Postal address: GPO Box 2566, St Georges Terrace, WA 6831