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.

  • suspected cauda equina syndrome
  • suspected spinal cord compression
  • acute urinary retention
  • urinary tract sepsis/systemic infection
  • obstructive uropathy/renal failure due to bladder outlet obstruction

Please contact the urology registrar on call to discuss your concerns prior to referral.

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

National Continence Helpline

Central Adelaide Local Health Network

Northern Adelaide Local Health Network 

Southern Adelaide Local Health Network


  • uncomplicated lower urinary tract infections without first line management treatment therapy
  • sexually transmitted infections – refer to Adelaide Sexual Health Centre

Triage categories

Category 1 (appointment clinically indicated within 30 days)

  • suspected malignancy
  • acute urinary retention post-trial-of-void (TOV)
  • post-volume residuals (PVRs) greater than 300mls with:
    • altered renal function and/or
    • hydronephrosis

Category 2 (appointment clinically indicated within 90 days)

  • bladder stones
  • known or suspected neurogenic bladder
  • nocturnal enuresis
  • previous incontinence/pelvic surgery and/or pelvic radiation/malignancy
  • recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • refractory symptoms despite maximal medical management
  • repeated episodes of urinary retention
  • suspected/confirmed urogenital fistula
  • urethral stricture/meatal stenosis

Category 3 (appointment clinically indicated within 365 days)

  • incontinence
  • persisting bladder/urethral/perineal pain

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
  • identify within your referral 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/psychosocial history
  • current medications, allergies
  • history of presenting complaint including:
    • onset
    • duration
    • incontinence and/or
    • pelvic surgery and/or
    • pelvic radiation/malignancy
    • trial of medications, specifically alpha blockers, 5 alpha reductase inhibitors, anticholinergic agent, beta-3 adrenergic antagonists, phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor
  • physical examination findings
    • abdominal examination
    • digital rectal examination (DRE)
  • bladder diary – fluid intake/output chart
  • kidneys, ureters and bladder (KUB) ultrasound (US) with post void residual volume
  • relevant diagnostic/imaging reports including location of company and accession number


  • complete blood examination (CBE)
  • electrolytes, urea and creatinine (EUC)
  • liver function test (LFT)
  • estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)
  • prostate-specific antigen (PSA)
  • mid-stream urine (MSU) M/C/S
  • urine cytology
  • sexually active people please complete a sexually transmitted infection (STI) screen, including chlamydia and gonorrhoea which requires:
    • endocervical/penile swab for culture and
    • endocervical/penile polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab or urine sample

Clinical management advice

Physiotherapy and/or continence nurse management should be considered as part of initial management for urinary incontinence e.g. pelvic floor muscle exercises and bladder training. All patients require kidney, ureters, and bladder ultrasound including post void residual volume.

Consider first line medication therapy if low residuals on bladder scan, no suspicion of a sinister cause, not hypersensitive to the drug, and no history of acute angle glaucoma.

Clinical resources

Consumer resources