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

Regional Health Networks

Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network

Eyre and Far North Local Health Network

Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network

Limestone Coast Local Health Network

Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network

Yorke and Northern Local Health Network


  • aesthetic surgical procedures
  • benign lesions including:
    • naevi (melanocytic/pigmented)
    • seborrheic keratoses
    • skin tags
    • warts
    • xanthelasma

Triage categories

Category 1 (appointment clinically indicated within 30 days)

  • rapidly enlarging cyst/lesion
  • suspected malignancy
  • suspected soft tissue tumour with concerning features

Category 2 (appointment clinically indicated within 90 days)

  • nil

Category 3 (appointment clinically indicated within 365 days)

  • benign lesions not of the face, hand, and neck including:
    • ganglion
    • lipoma
    • cyst

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  
  • 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 required
  • cultural considerations
  • age
  • past medical/surgical history
  • medications and dosages
  • allergies and sensitivities
  • height, weight and body mass index (BMI)
  • smoking, alcohol and other drug use
  • onset, duration, and progression of symptoms
  • presenting symptoms such as:
    • functional impairment
    • range of motion (ROM)
    • size
    • shape
    • colour
    • inflammation
    • oozing/exudate
    • change in sensation
  • management history including
    •  injury/trauma, if relevant
    • onset and duration
    • severity
    • pain
    • trialled/implemented prior to referral
    • ultrasound (US) – ganglion/cyst

Additional information to assist triage categorisation

  • photograph, including disposable measurement tool,  with patient’s consent, where secure image transfer, identification and storage is possible

Clinical management advice

Benign skin lesions may evolve or even regress over time. For instance, moles may change in appearance or fade away, skin tags may fall off, or seborrheic keratoses may become less prominent. Patients and GPs should monitor lesions for any concerning changes and report back if necessary.

Cysts, or benign lesions of the face, hand and neck should preferably be referred to specialist plastic surgery services when these services are available, see Cyst or Benign Lesion of the Face, Hand and Neck — Plastic and Reconstructive surgery Adult CPC.

Clinical resources

Consumer resources