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Rapid Access Services

Metro South Health has commenced a number of rapid access services GPs can refer to. These services provide assessment and treatment to patients requiring escalation of care, bypassing the need to attend the Emergency Department and to prevent further clinical progression in their conditions. 

This page will be updated as further services are available.

Medical Assessment and Planning Unit (MAPU)

Rapid Access Service (RAS)- Princess Alexandra Hospital

The MAPU Rapid Access Service at the Princess Alexandra Hospital provides assessment and treatment to new consumers who require a brief period of intravenous antibiotics, diuretics or iron infusions; for a variety of medical conditions including cellulitis, urinary infections, chest infections, iron deficiency and heart failure. This service has been running since February 2023 and welcomes direct referrals from General Practitioners or medical centres and via Emergency Departments (ED). MAPU RAS service aims to provide a hospital substitution and ED avoidance service.

Operates Monday- Friday 9:00am – 16:30pm (excluding public holidays).

Eligibility Criteria


  • Clinically stable
  • Valid Medicare Card Holder
  • Independently mobile with or without a mobility aid
  • Meets one of the below diagnostic inclusions

Diagnostic Inclusions (List not exhaustive)

  • Cellulitis and skin infections
  • Urinary Tract Infections 
  • Chest Infections
  • Exacerbation of Heart failure
  • Known Iron Deficiency Anaemia requiring an intravenous iron infusion (Full iron studies results required)
     *Service does not provide Blood product transfusions*

General Inclusions

  • Patient requiring a daily dose of IV antibiotics (Available daily within the service or via admission to Hospital in the Home)
  • Patient requiring a daily dose of IV Lasix (Available daily within the service or via admission to Hospital in the Home)
  • Patient requiring IV Iron replacement
  • Referring clinician would like timely assessment by the MAPU RAS medical physician for the included conditions (can clinically wait 24-48 hours) 


  • Haemodynamic instability 
  • Significant cognitive impairment, delirium or aggressive behaviours 
  • Significant mobility issues/frailty
  • Significant co-morbidity or clinical complexity 
  • Weight exceeding >150kg (No access to bariatric equipment)
  • Pregnancy
  • Significant active psychiatric disease/suicidal ideation
  • Active IVDU
  • Known to a PAH General Medical team within past 18months (Excluding General Medical MAPU) 

 If we determine your patient is inappropriate for our service during our initial phone consultation, we will advise you of an alternative care pathway.

Referral Information

  • Patient must be accepted by the MAPU RAS CNCover the phone prior to a paper referral being sent.
  • Phone call referral can be made by the practice nurse or the General Practitioner
  • The reason for referral must be clearly outlined, and must meet our inclusion and exclusion criteria . 
  • Relevant pathology and radiology results (printed for the patient and sent with the referral)
  • All faxed referrals must include (at minimum) the patient’s name, address, DOB, contact number, medicare card number, and pertinent clinical information.
  • Referrals for patients with infections will be triaged as urgent and brought into the service ASAP (likely same day).

How to Refer

  • Please call our MAPU RAS CNC on (07) 3176 3275 during business hours (Mon – Fri 9:00am – 4:30pm).

  • Our CNC will take the patient’s clinical details and determine whether the inclusion and exclusion criteria for referral are met

  • If the referral is accepted, please fax a written referral directly to the Service on Fax number (07) 3176 3399 at the end of phone call to allow the patient to be contacted by the service.

General Medicine

Rapid Access Service for Known Patients (RAS-KP) - Princess Alexandra Hospital

The General Medicine Rapid Access Service for Known Patients (RAS-KP) provides access to early review by the General Medicine team for patients who are unwell and have previously been under care of the General Medicine service at PAH. Funding for the project has been guaranteed to June 30th 2024.

The service operates Monday-Friday 10:00am - 6:00pm (excluding public holidays).

Eligibility Criteria

Unwell patients who are known to General Medicine Service at PAH, except patients who are

  • Clinically unstable requiring emergency care
  • Requiring inpatient admission to specialty units other than General Medicine
  • Acute surgical diagnosis or trauma
  • Presenting with psychotic illness, homicidal, suicidal behaviour or intent, demonstrating or who are a high risk of violent or aggressive behaviour
  • Bariatric patients (weight > 120kg)
  • Patients requiring telemetry
  • Requiring non-urgent outpatient care

Confirm that transfer to acute care is consistent with the patient's advance care planning documents (if available) and/or with the patient or family's preference of care.

Referral Information

A written referral is not required. Please see How to Refer below.

How to Refer

  • Contact service on 3176 4910 to discuss patient. A written referral is not required. 
  • After hours, call the phone and leave a message or you can fax a written referral to 3176 5790 for actioning the next business day.
Last updated 13 September 2023
Last reviewed 1 August 2023