Categorisation of Referral

After receiving a valid referral from a health professional, advice is provided on the patient's category depending on the urgency of their condition and they are placed on the outpatient waiting list.

Clinical urgency categories have been defined for use in Outpatient Services undertaken in THS facilities – allocation of the clinical urgency category requires the fulfilment of ALL criteria listed for that category:

Category 1

  1. Appointment within thirty (30) days is desirable; and
  2. Condition will require more complex or emergent care if assessment is delayed; and
  3. Condition will have significant impact on quality of life if care is delayed beyond thirty (30) days.

Category 2

  1. Appointment within ninety (90) days is desirable; and
  2. Condition has potential to require more complex care if assessment is delayed; and
  3. Condition has the potential to have some impact on quality of life if care is delayed beyond ninety (90) days.

Category 3

  1. Appointment is within 365 days is desirable; and
  2. Condition is unlikely to deteriorate quickly; and
  3. Condition is unlikely to require more complex care if assessment is delayed beyond 365 days.

If a patient does not fulfil all criteria for Category 1, then the patient is allocated Category 2 status.If a patient does not fulfil all criteria for Category 2, then the patient is allocated Category 3 status. The category system ensures that all patients are seen in order of priority. There are three urgency categories, where 1 is most urgent and 3 is least urgent.