Referral to emergency

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.

  • acute neurological symptoms which could be attributed to stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) including:
    • facial droop
    • unilateral limb weakness
    • dysarthria (slurred speech)
    • dysphasia (inability to speak)
    • unilateral sensory loss
    • acute onset vertigo (dizziness)
    • acute onset ataxia (impaired balance or coordination)
    • acute onset diplopia (double vision). For sudden onset ptosis please assess and exclude acute neurological event including stroke or TIA prior to referring and consider contacting on-call stroke or neurology service.

For clinical advice, please telephone the relevant metropolitan Local Health Network switchboard and ask to speak to the relevant specialty service.

Central Adelaide Local Health Network

Southern Adelaide Local Health Network


  • dry eyes
  • cosmetic concerns
  • excess or saggy eyelid skin that does not affect visual fields
  • ectropion with infective keratitis/entropion, refer to ophthalmology

Triage categories

Category 1 - appointment clinically indicated within 30 days

  • suspected malignancy
  • ectropion with incomplete eye closure leading to corneal irritation
  • sudden onset of ptosis

Category 2 — appointment clinically indicated within 90 days

  • symptomatic ptosis involving visual axis

Category 3 — appointment clinically indicated within 365 days

  • blepharoplasty – excess or saggy upper eyelid skin affecting visual fields
  • asymptomatic ptosis involving visual axis
  • symptomatic ectropion

For information on referral forms and how to import them, please view general referral information.

Essential referral information

Completion required before first appointment to ensure patients are ready for care. 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.

  • identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • relevant social history, including identifying if you feel your patient is from a vulnerable population and/or requires a third party to receive correspondence on their behalf
  • interpreter requirements
  • past medical/surgical history
  • current medications and dosages
  • allergies and sensitivities
  • presenting symptoms
  • management history including:
    • injury/trauma if relevant
    • onset and duration
    • severity
    • pain
    • associated features, e.g. functional impairment, visual impairment

Clinical management advice

Please note that eye referrals can be managed by the following specialist services:

  • ophthalmology
  • plastic surgery.

It is strongly recommended that people who smoke or vape stop 3 months prior to consultation. Smoking/vaping is associated with delayed healing. Please refer to useful resources section for further information.

If the patient requires urgent attention and/or fulfils category 1 triage criteria, please contact the on-call registrar to discuss and ensure your referral has been received.

Clinical resources

Consumer resources