Direct to an emergency department for:
- Suspected large bowel obstruction
- Faecal impaction that has not responded to adequate medical management.
Criteria for referral to public hospital specialist clinic services
- Constipation in patients with a duration of more than 6 weeks but less than 12 months, with any of the following:
- > 40 years of age
- rectal bleeding
- positive faecal occult blood test
- weight loss (≥ 5% of body weight in previous 6 months)
- abdominal or rectal mass
- iron deficiency that persists despite correction of causative factors
- patient or family history of bowel cancer (first degree relative < 55 years).
Information to be included in the referral
Information that must be provided
- Onset, characteristics and duration of constipation and sentinel findings
- Current and previous colonoscopy results
- Full blood examination
- Iron studies.
Provide if available
- Current and previous histology results
- Details of any previous gastroenterology assessments or opinions
- Faecal occult blood test
- Thyroid stimulating hormone levels.
The Summary and referral information lists the information that should be included in a referral request.
As part of the referral assessment, patients may be triaged to colonoscopy prior to the appointment at a specialist clinic.
Where appropriate and available the referral may be directed to an alternative specialist clinic or service.
Referral to a public hospital is not appropriate for
- Patients with more than 12 months of symptoms, with no sentinel findings, who have not had an adequate trial of treatment.