Hospital avoidance and discharge support services

There are options to support care closer to home when it is safe and appropriate.

The following services and programs are available to help patients avoid emergency department visits and hospital admissions, as well as return home from hospital sooner. 

Services that do not require a referral from a health professional

healthdirect – 1800 022 222

healthdirect is a national helpline, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide advice and support or connect you to the right care. Find more information about South Australian services you can access through healthdirect on the umm…ergency page (SA Health’s Demand Management Campaign).

Medicare Urgent Care Clinics

Medicare Urgent Care Clinics give you more options to see a doctor or nurse when you need care for urgent, but not life-threatening health conditions, and cannot get an appointment at your usual GP. You can walk into any Medicare Urgent Care Clinic for bulk billed urgent care without the need for an appointment or referral.

Child and Adolescent Virtual Urgent Care Service

The Women’s and Children’s free Child and Adolescent Virtual Urgent Care Service connects parents with a virtual team of highly skilled emergency doctors and nurses who can assess and provide medical advice for your children, aged between 6 months and up to 18 years.

Services that require a referral from a health professional

SA Community Care

The SA Community Care program can help patients who reside in metropolitan Adelaide to return home from hospital sooner or avoid a hospital stay when safe and appropriate. All referrals must be directed to the Metropolitan Referral Unit.

Priority Care Centres

Priority Care Centres provide community-based healthcare and treatment for eligible patients with urgent but non-life threatening conditions who would otherwise be seeking treatment at a public hospital emergency department.

SA Virtual Care Service

The SA Virtual Care Service brings emergency care to patients, that would normally only be available in an Emergency Department. The statewide service provides an individualised assessment service via video link for urgent patients on-scene with SA Ambulance crews, regional clinicians or aged care staff.

My Home Hospital

My Home Hospital is a hospital substitution service delivering acute care to patients in the comfort and privacy their own home, including residential aged care. The service is available to eligible public patients residing in metropolitan Adelaide, Gawler and Mount Barker regions and surrounds, and select locations in the Southern Fleurieu Peninsula.

Local Health Network (LHN) specific services

Our LHNs also provide services and programs for hospital avoidance and discharge support. A selection of services are listed below, additional options may be available through your Local Health Network.

Not all LHNs offer the same hospital avoidance services. Please see below a list of services by LHN that may be available. 

All LHN services require a referral from a health professional

Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN)

Information about hospital avoidance services for patients residing in the CALHN geographic area is available on the CALHN Integrated Care page.

Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN)

SALHN’s Complex and RestorativE (CARE) service is delivered in partnership with SA Ambulance Service. The CARE service, staffed by specialist geriatric, nursing and allied health staff, has been specifically designed to improve care for older patients by providing alternative treatment pathways to Emergency Departments where emergency care is not required.

The Geriatric Evaluation and Management - (GEM)@Home service at SALHN functions with a ‘home first’ principle by providing sub-acute hospital level care, goal directed therapy, and support to older people in the comfort of their own environment.

Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN)

The Intermediate Care Service (ICS) team works with people with chronic conditions and complex needs to help them improve their health and wellbeing, avoiding hospital admission where possible and support early discharge.

Additional information for health professionals treating patients in the NALHN catchment is available on the NALHN Hospital Avoidance page.

Regional Local Health Networks

Country Health Connect offers a wide range of in-home and community-based services to older people, people living with disability, children and carers across regional South Australia.

Additional resources can be found on the Regional services page.

Mental health services

If you need mental health support, there are a range of mental health services available. Please visit the Mental health services page.