Northern Health Primary Care Liaison update for general practice

  12 May 2021  Northern Health Primary Care Liaison

Statewide Referral Criteria – new HealthLink referral forms

Northern Health is pleased to announce the release of brand new user-friendly HealthLink forms for GPs to refer patients to Specialist Clinics.

The new electronic referral forms are specially designed to help GPs complete the content required by the new Statewide Referral Criteria when referring patients to the following Specialist Clinics:

  • ENT
  • Gastroenterology
  • Gynaecology
  • Neurology
  • Urology
  • Vascular

HealthLink have upgraded all forms, not just the ones above, with new features to make it easy for GPs to:

  • Update an expired referral
  • Select a specific purpose for the referral
  • Flag a patient’s special needs or reasonable adjustments required for their disability
  • Indicate a patient’s suitability for Telehealth (video) consultations
  • Provide confirmation of a patient’s consent to sharing information between clinicians
  • View the relevant HealthPathways Melbourne guidelines

GPs can use HealthLink forms to refer patients to Community Access/sub-acute services such as Allied Health, Care Coordination (Health Independence Program), Rehabilitation, Continence Services and Chronic Wound Care.

If you have any queries or would like assistance with referrals to Specialist Clinics, please contact Bonnie Ferguson or Christopher Daniel on 8405 2921 or email SpecialistClinics@nh.org.au

Reprioritising patients on waitlists

Northern Health receives thousands of referrals from GPs every month and each referral is assessed according to clinical priority. COVID-19 has resulted in delays in patient access to non-urgent clinical care across health services. Specialist Clinics have continued to provide safe clinical care to as many patients as possible, utilising modalities such as telephone and video-call to facilitate access to Outpatient Services.

Northern Health is pleased to announce that, in consultation with North Western Melbourne PHN and Eastern Melbourne PHN, our Specialist Clinics are now undertaking a major work to reprioritise referrals for patients who are on extended waitlists to ensure that patients who need clinical care the most are identified and given priority. In the coming weeks, GPs whose patients are on an extended waitlist will receive a notification requesting an updated referral to assist Northern Health in reassessing their need for a clinic appointment.

Using the new HealthLink referral forms, GPs can select the option Update previously sent referral and attach the most recent reports and results, and in most cases these will be assessed against the relevant Specialist Clinic guidelines outlined in the new Statewide Referral Criteria. GPs are equally encouraged to notify Northern Health if a Specialist Clinic appointment is no longer required for their patient, if for example a clinical service has been sought elsewhere.

For more information or support with updating a referral for your waitlisted patient, please contact Christopher Daniel on 8405 2921 or email SpecialistClinics@nh.org.au

More information on the Northern Health Primary Care Liaison service is available on the Northern Health website