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.

  • nil

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

Northern Adelaide Local Health Network

Southern Adelaide Local Health Network

Women's and Children's Health Network

Category 1 (appointment clinically indicated within 30 days)

  • trial of void
  • intermittent self-catheterisation
  • difficulty voiding with renal impairment

Category 2 (appointment clinically indicated within 90 days)

  • difficulty voiding +/- significant residuals on bladder screening without renal impairment

Category 3 (appointment clinically indicated within 365 days)

  • uncomplicated urinary incontinence

For more on outpatient referrals, see the general referral information.

Central Adelaide Local Health Network only accept referrals for people greater than 18 years of age.

Due to limitations in infrastructure and resources, the Women's and Children's Hospital cannot accommodate referrals for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 45, as well as individuals over the age of 69 years of age.

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/obstetric/psychosocial history
  • current medications and allergies
  • hormonal contraception use
  • onset, duration and course of presenting symptoms
  • height/weight
  • BMI
  • bladder diary including intake/output
  • quality of life concerns including missed work/study/family
  • pelvic examination findings
  • kidneys, ureters and bladder ultrasound with post volume residuals included
  • relevant diagnostic/imaging reports including location of company and accession number


  • mid-stream urine (MSU) microscopy, culture and sensitivity (M/C/S)
  • urine cytology

Sexually active people

Complete a sexually transmitted infection screen, including:

  • human immunodeficiency virus and syphilis serology
  • chlamydia and gonorrhoea which requires:
    • endocervical swab for culture and
    • endocervical polymerase chain reaction swab or urine sample

Clinical management advice

Physiotherapy and/or continence nurse management referral should be considered as part of initial management for urinary incontinence e.g. pelvic floor muscle exercises and bladder training.

All patients require kidneys, ureters & bladder ultrasound which will also assess their post void residual volume.

Consider first line medication therapy if low residuals on bladder scan, no suspicion of a sinister cause. This would include vaginal oestrogen in post-menopausal women, anticholinergics or beta-3 agonists.

Clinical resources

Consumer resources