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Geriatric Medicine

Find assessment and management information on Geriatric Medicine 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.

  • Very rapid onset of cognitive +/- other neurological symptoms
  • Suspected delirium deemed unsafe to manage in the community by the treating medical practitioner
  • Imminent safety risk to self or others

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  • Advanced age or frailty usually with cognitive impairment and/or physical disability
  • Medical problems requiring assessment for treatment, rehabilitation or support
  • Complex multiple medical system disorders
  • Difficulty with activities of daily living with potential for improvement with therapeutic intervention from a Specialised multi-disciplinary team
  • Resident in the community or residential care with complex medical issues

Urgent referrals Arranging urgent review

To arrange an urgent review, please phone the relevant hospital’s switchboard and ask to speak to the Registrar of the relevant specialty.

Conditions requiring immediate referral include:

  • Acute delirium
  • Severe behavioural disturbance in dementia at risk to self or others
  • Self-neglect or abuse

Out of scope services

The following are not routinely provided in a public Cognitive Impairment and Dementia service.

  • Outpatient follow-up of adults for acquired brain injury or neuro developmental disorder i.e., except whether there is a new onset of memory/cognitive decline.
  • Presentations that would be more appropriately assessed and managed by specialist mental health services e.g. where a primary psychiatric diagnosis (e.g. major depression, generalised anxiety disorder, schizophrenia) is the most likely cause of the patient’s presenting symptoms
  • Assessments of financial and testamentary capacity
  • Formal occupational therapy driving assessments


  • Please note that where appropriate and where available, the referral may be streamed to an associated public allied health and/or nursing service.  Access to some specific services may include initial assessment and management by associated public allied health and/or nursing, which may either facilitate or negate the need to see the public medical specialist.
  • A change in patient circumstance (such as condition deteriorating, or becoming pregnant) may affect the urgency categorisation and should be communicated as soon as possible.
  • Please indicate in the referral if the patient is unable to access mandatory tests or investigations as they incur a cost or are unavailable locally.

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 19 January 2021