Direct to an emergency department for:

  • Acute severe colitis: patients with ≥ 6 bloody bowel motions per 24 hours plus at least one of the following: 
    • temperature > 37.8°C
    • pulse rate > 90 bpm
    • haemoglobin < 105 gm/L
    • raised inflammatory markers (erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) > 30 mm/hr or C-reactive protein (CRP) > 30 mg/L)
  • Suspected or known Crohn’s disease with acute complications:
    • bowel obstruction 
    • sepsis or intra-abdominal or pelvic abscess.

Criteria for referral to public hospital specialist clinic services

  • Known inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Strongly suspected inflammatory disease based on:
    • recurrent perianal fistulas or abscesses
    • imaging results that strongly suggest Crohn’s disease or colitis
    • endoscopy findings consistent with inflammatory bowel disease.

Information to be included in the referral

Information that must be provided

  • Current and previous colonoscopy results.
  • Current and previous imaging results.
  • Inflammatory marker result (erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) or C-reactive protein (CRP)).
  • Full blood examination.
  • Current and complete medication history (including non-prescription medicines, herbs and supplements).

Provide if available

  • Faecal calprotectin.

Additional comments

The Summary and referral information lists the information that should be included in a referral request.

See also: statewide referral criteria for symptoms such as diarrhoea or abnormal imaging or colonoscopy results.

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

Not applicable