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Find assessment and management information on Diabetes conditions at:

Emergency Immediate transfer to the Emergency Department

If any of the following are present or suspected, please refer the patient to the emergency department (via ambulance if necessary) or seek emergent medical advice if in a remote region.

Pancreatic disease

  • Acute severe hyperglycaemia
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis  - A
  • Acute severe hypoglycaemia - A
  • Hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state (HHS) - A
  • Newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes – B (call registrar or consultant on call)
  • Acute severe hypoglycaemia
  • Foot ulcer with infection and systemically unwell or febrile
  • Invasive infection or rapidly spreading cellulitis (defined by peripheral redness around the wound >2cm)
  • Acute ischaemia - A
  • Wet gangrene – A

Urgent cases – (refer to key below)
A – client to present to emergency department immediately
B – client to present to diabetes specialist service within 24 hours.  If no specialist service is available, present to an emergency department.

High Risk Foot

  • Acute/Critical limb ischemia and non-palpable pulses or necrosis – Refer directly to  Princess Alexandra Hospital Emergency (PDF, 477.27 KB) urgently
  • Systemic inflammatory response symptoms (SIRS) or clinically unwell
  • Worsening pain and/or pain not in keeping with progression of the wound/ulcer
  • Progressive cellulitis despite initial treatment (defined by peripheral redness around the wound > 2cm)
  • Acute Charcot arthropathy if access to podiatry is not accessible within 48 hours
  • Wet gangrene

Are you referring to the right service?

  • Specialist advice can be accessed for new and existing patients of the Princess Alexandra Hospital Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology with non-urgent medical issues via eConsults Specialist Online Advice on Brisbane South HealthPathways
  • Private Diabetes Educators may be accessed through Enhanced Primary Care Plan

Referrals can also be made directly to:

  • High Risk Foot clinic
  • Diabetes Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Navigators

Urgent referrals Arranging urgent review

To arrange a very urgent outpatient appointment, please phone the relevant hospital’s switchboard and ask to speak to the Registrar of the relevant specialty.


Out of scope services

The following are not routinely provided in a public Diabetes and Endocrinology service.

  • Pre-diabetes
  • Stable, well-controlled type 2 diabetes
  • Newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes and not acutely unwell
  • Referrals where the primary problem requiring attention is not directly related to the diabetes and should be directed to another speciality service e.g. chest pain for investigation should go to cardiology
  • Dietary advice for weight reduction, high cholesterol, hypertension or CVD in patients with diabetes

Out of Catchment

Metro South Health is responsible for providing public health services to the people who reside within its boundaries. Special consideration is made for patients requiring tertiary care or services that are not provided by their local Hospital and Health Service. If your patient lives outside the Metro South Health area and you wish to refer them to one of our services, inclusion of information regarding their particular medical and social factors will assist with the triaging of your referral.

Last updated 18 December 2023