WA Health system

Central Referral Service – improving the patient referral system

What is the Central Referral Service?

The Central Referral Service (CRS) processes referrals for a first specialist outpatient appointment at clinics within, or part of, a public hospital in the Perth metropolitan area, and select regional outpatient services.

Your GP will send your referral for an initial public specialist outpatient appointment to the CRS. At the CRS, experienced nurses and clerical staff will review your referral and where appropriate, allocate it to the most appropriate hospital.

Once your referral has been accepted at a hospital site, both you and your GP will receive communications confirming which hospital site and specialty has accepted your referral. The hospital will then assign an outpatient appointment based on the urgency of your condition. You will receive a letter by mail from the hospital with appointment details 30 days prior to your scheduled appointment date.

Why does WA have a centralised referral processing service?

The CRS provides a coordinated and sustainable model for outpatient referral management across the WA health system.

There are many factors involved in finding the most appropriate hospital or specialist for each patient referral. The CRS considers all the necessary information to enable patients to receive care within a clinically-appropriate timeframe, in the most suitable location and with the level of health service required.

How CRS benefits you?

We believe in right care, right place, right time.

The CRS ensures your referral is sent to the most appropriate hospital within clinically appropriate timeframes.

By ensuring referrals are sent to the most appropriate hospital from the beginning of the referral process, wait times for initial public specialist outpatient appointments will be minimised.

Last reviewed: 14-11-2023

System Clinical Support and Innovation

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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