About the Central Referral Service

The Central Referral Service postal address has changed.

Please send referrals to GPO Box 2566, Perth, WA 6831 from 20 September to minimise referral processing delays.

On the 24th of February 2014 the Department of Health launched its new Central Referral Service (CRS). After being endorsed by the Minister for Health and the Department, the CRS has now been operational for six years.

The CRS was introduced to better manage external referrals for patients requiring a first specialist outpatient appointment within the public health system. The CRS represents a fundamental change to the way in which patients are referred to initial specialist outpatient appointments.

Benefits of the CRS

The CRS will provide a coordinated and sustainable model for outpatient referral management across the health system. This will help patients to receive care within a clinically-appropriate timeframe, and in the most suitable location.

The CRS aims to produce benefits for referrers and their patients, including:

  • improved patient access and reduced patient delays
  • standardised, streamlined referral process with increasing electronic functionality over time
  • allocation of patients to the most appropriate hospital – taking into account considerations listed above as well as demand measures across the system
  • improved tracking, auditing and reporting of referrals so that referrers and their patients will be better informed about the progress of the referral
  • an enhanced level of information available to referrers at the point of referral.

How to refer a patient through CRS

To refer a patient, referrers will need to complete one of the standardised referral forms and send it to the CRS. The CRS prefers referral forms sent by secure messaging. Referrals are sent via secure messaging at, Healthlink Secure Messaging: crefserv.

Experienced nurses will then allocate the referral to the most appropriate hospital for each patient based on:

  • location
  • speciality
  • level of health service required.

Patients suitable for CRS

The CRS has been set up to allocate referrals for a first outpatient appointment with a specialist at a clinic within a public metropolitan hospital.

However, the CRS isn’t suitable for all patients. We ask that referrals for patients requiring immediate review (within the next 7 days) to be sent directly to the relevant hospital.

In addition, the CRS should not be used for patients referred to:

  • a private specialist
  • mental health services
  • rural outpatient services
  • allied health outpatient services
  • non-doctor led outpatient services.

The Central Referral Service guide for referrers contains more details on which specialities are suitable to be referred through the CRS.

CRS resources

More information

Central Referral Service
Healthlink Secure Messaging: crefserv
: 1300 551 142
Fax: 1300 365 056
Email the CRS
Postal address: GPO Box 2566 Perth WA 6831

Last reviewed: 20-09-2021
Produced by

System Clinical Support and Innovation Unit