Hospital Referral Procedures – Optometry WA
All teaching hospitals in WA are now only seeing urgent and emergency cases. Referrals may be sent but only emergency and urgent cases will be seen. Routine referrals will be delayed indefinitely.
For emergency and urgent referrals always phone the teaching hospital as per postcode catchment area and speak to the Ophthalmic Registrar before referring. This is to reduce congestion in Emergency Departments and allow the Ophthalmic Registrar to correctly triage the appointment. By doing this it avoids sending patients to a hospital where treatment is not available, avoids a patient waiting in a possibly infectious area and consequently reduces the likelihood of infection of both the patient and hospital eye care team. Ophthalmic registrars are always happy to discuss referrals and will consult each other across hospitals.
** Please prepare a well-documented referral and attach images (Optos, OCT, camera) wherever possible to assist the ophthalmic registrar triage and expedite care. **
Hospital Referral Procedures
Here you will find current list, contact information and procedures relevant to the main hospitals here in Western Australia. The information is updated as information changes and has been updated as of 30th March 2020 for the current protocol with regard to COVID-19 and hospital referrals.
May 2020 Update – Fremantle Hospital is still focused on emergencies, but planning to increase services gradually from May 11.
- Fremantle Hospital is restricting all clinics to emergency / urgent cases only.
- Fremantle Hospital is currently not accepting any COVID -19 suspect cases
- At present COVID positive emergency patients will be reviewed by the Fremantle Hospital registrar in Fiona Stanley Hospital E.D
- Optometrists are requested to continue to phone and speak to Registrars in regard to urgent cases.
- Senior staff has reviewed clinics and are rescheduling all possible patients to potentially a three-month delay or more.
- Fremantle Hospital is not booking any category 2 or category 3 patients (these are patients who are ideally seen within 3 months or 12 months) on the waiting list.
- Elective theatres for category 2 & category 3 patients have been cancelled indefinitely
Fremantle Hospital – Contact Information
- Monday to Thursday 0800 – 1700 and Fridays 0800 – 1200
- Please contact 9431 3333 – Ask to speak to the on-call Ophthalmology Registrar.
- If required, leave a message but the Registrar will return the call.
- If advised to send a patient to the department a referral should be faxed to the clinic clerks on 9431 2726-urgent referrals only.
- Outside normal hours noted above and on weekends contact RPH switch on 9224 2244 and request the call be transferred through to the on-call Ophthalmology Registrar. The Registrar will direct you in regard to where and when to send the patient.
- Email: FHClinicClerks@health.wa.gov.au
Information prepared by Optometry Western Australia, President, Rob Howie. With thanks to the following at Fremantle Hospital: Steve Colley (Ophthalmology Head of Dept.), Geoffrey Chan (Ophthalmology Fellow), Ben Host (Registrar), Jon Lam (Registrar), Tricia Lyle (Clinical Nurse/ Program Manager Ophthalmology)
Royal Perth Hospital
May 2020 Update: At RPH, Ophthalmology outpatient clinics have run at 50% capacity during the week ending May 8, with urgent cases prioritized. Capacity may increase in the week beginning May 11. Again, social distancing rules are limiting numbers.
Surgical capacity has also increased marginally but is still limited to category one and two elective surgery and emergencies. Surgical capacity is expected to increase in the next few weeks.
Please continue to refer patients according to the usual guidelines. Patients will be seen when clinically appropriate.
- All non-urgent elective public sector surgery has been cancelled for the time being.
- Referrals may still be sent and patients will be seen when the situation allows.
- Urgent (category 1, sight threatening) referrals will be seen according to the local protocol being developed.
- Generally, the referral pathway is the same as usual for these patients, that is, anything needing emergency or urgent review should be referred by phoning the catchment hospital ophthalmology registrar who will advise where and when to send the patient.
Royal Perth Hospital – Contact Information
- Call the hospital switchboard on 9224 2244 and ask for the Ophthalmology Registrar.
- Also send referral via Fax to RPH site office Central Referral Receipting FAX: 6477 5199.
- Email: RPHOutpatientreferrals@health.wa.gov.au
Information prepared by Optometry Western Australia, President, Rob Howie. With thanks to the following at Royal Perth Hospital:
Jean-Louis de Sousa (Ophthalmology Head of Dept.)
Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
May 2020 Updates: Currently, SCGH is running half day clinics every day to deal with acute emergencies. From May 18, SCGH will be running a reduced clinic model with clinics every day throughout the week to see emergency, semi -urgent and some routine cases.
- SCGH Ophthalmology is open for emergencies.
- SCGH has stopped all routine cases.
- SCGH Ophthalmology will be running a half day clinic every day to deal with emergencies.
Optometrists can always ring the on- call registrar at SCGH through the switchboard and please email images, if available, to the eye clinic.
Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital – Contact Information
- For urgent referrals phone the on-call Registrar on 6457 2339 Monday – Friday 9-5PM.
- If after hours or on the weekend, contact the on-call Eye Registrar on 6457 3333.
- Email: SCGH.EyeClinic@health.wa.gov.au
- To refer a patient with an ocular emergency, call the registrar prior to sending the patient.
- Registrar will advise time of appointment.
Information prepared by Optometry Western Australia, President, Rob Howie. With thanks to the following at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital: Vignesh Raja (Ophthalmology Head of Dept.)
Private Ophthalmology WA-COVID 19 – as of 13th May 2020
Elective surgery is resuming and many WA ophthalmologists are returning to more normal work practices, to avoid a backlog and maintain routine patient care.
The College has relaxed the Moorfields’ recommended COVID triage guidelines. However, an acute need for physical distancing and surface sanitisation measures is still required resulting in consultations taking longer. The 4 m2 rule still stands meaning clinic loads require adjustment to ensure waiting rooms are not crowded.
More ophthalmologists are now listed on the RANZCO WA website. The website also contains details of individual practice opening times and can be found at: https://www.ranzcowa.com.au/home/search-members
As circumstances change individual ophthalmologists can initiate changes on the website to ensure it is up to date. Professor Morlet expects the situation will improve further over the next month. It will take some time before all restrictions are lifted.
Private Ophthalmology WA-COVID 19 – as of 14th April 2020
In the COVID environment many private ophthalmologists are closed. Please find below a link to the RANZCO WA website listing which ophthalmologists are open; https://www.ranzcowa.com.au/home/search-members
We have been advised that if optometry practices do not have appropriate PPE and protocols in place to ensure member safety, that during this period RANZCO fellows will accept referrals triaged on merit from case history (without the need for examination).
Additional ophthalmologists not listed on the link who have identified themselves as being open for essential consultations are listed below. Ophthalmologists may also offer tele-health and over the phone advice and triaging.
- Burvill, Malcolm, Morley Eye Clinic, 1/11-13 Collier Rd, Morley 6062 T: 9275 2522
- Colley, Stephen, Western Eye, 5/ 592 Stirling Hwy, Mosman Park 6012 T: 9383 5353
- Goh, Kai, Murdoch Ophthalmology, 38/3 Barry Marshall Pde, Murdoch 6150 T: 6144 3033
- Khan, Jane, Western Eye, 5/ 592 Stirling Hwy, Mosman Park 6012 T: 9383 5353
- Lim, Jason, Murdoch Ophthalmology, 38/3 Barry Marshall Pde, Murdoch 6150 T: 6144 3033
- Richards, Josephine, Western Eye, 5/ 592 Stirling Hwy, Mosman Park 6012 T: 9383 5353
Updates as of 30th March 2020
- Click on this link to the WA Ophthalmology-Triage Policy Mar2020
- Cases deemed ‘high risk’ or ‘urgent’ are identified in column 1.
- Information supplied by Steve Colley & Geoffrey Chan, Fremantle Hospital.
Patients should never be sent to a general hospital emergency department without discussion with the on-call registrar. This is to avoid wasting time and potentially sending a patient to a centre where treatment is not available.
Reducing Emergency Department contact is very important to reduce the risk of infection for all…Phone the Ophthalmic Registrar first!
May 2020 Update: Working Together
Optometrists can assist Ophthalmology by applying the triage criteria for urgent cases, referring routine cases to the appropriate public hospital based on catchment postcode, and being aware of a hospital’s service capabilities (basically hospitals do not see blepharitis, uncomplicated dry eye and most asymptomatic, non-progressive disease). Optometrists should consider managing routine cases which are within their scope, rather than initiating a referral to a public hospital which may incur delays of many months.
A message from Professor Nigel Morlet, Branch Chair RANZCO WA: 14th April 2020
“Those of our ophthalmic practices open are setup for dealing with urgent, emergent and essential ophthalmic care except for those clearly or potentially infected with a viral respiratory illness – these may need to be cared for in an appropriate setting such as Royal Perth Hospital Eye Clinic that has COVID infection protective measures in place.
If in doubt please, ring and discuss with your ophthalmologist and seek advice before referral.We wish you and your constituents all the best over the next few months and hope we can resume usual collaborative care once life returns to normal.”
Many thanks: Professor Nigel Morlet, Branch Chair RANZCO WA
These lists are a work in progress – if you discover a contact is incorrect, please email the OWA office to advise the update or amend.
Ophthal List WA – Updated MAR 2020
Tertiary Hospitals Postcode PDF Please refer to this document as this is critical for the allocation of hospital based on postcodes from 6000 through to 6558 & covers the following hospitals; Fremantle Hospital, Royal Perth Hospital and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.
If the COVID prevalence in the community rises, suspect or infected patients with eye problems will start presenting. It is especially important in these situations that any referral is discussed with the accepting hospital so that proper arrangements can be made to safely assess the patient.
Any exposed optometric practice, unless practising the correct PPE* and infection precautions, may need to shut after such an exposure. Note that not all hospitals and private clinics are equipped to see infected patients.
* Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used in Standard Infection Control Precautions. Gloves, aprons, long sleeved gowns, surgical masks, eye goggles, face visors and respirator masks are all examples of PPE that may be worn in the provision of healthcare.