WA Health system

Central Referral Service – improving the patient referral system

What is the Central Referral Service?

Previously, when your GP referred you to a first outpatient appointment with a specialist they would write a referral directly to a specialist or hospital.

Now your GP sends the referral to the Central Referral Service (CRS) where experienced professionals will send the referral to the most appropriate hospital.

Why do we need the CRS?

Under the previous system hundreds of referrals from GPs were sent to hospitals and clinics all over Perth every day.

There are many factors involved in finding the most appropriate hospital or specialist for each referral, and these could not always be taken into account under the old system.

These factors include:

  • where the patient lives and where the hospitals are
  • what level of service is needed
  • which specialists are available and what expertise they have.

The CRS now holds all of the necessary information to take all of these factors into account, meaning each referral is assessed and then sent to the most appropriate hospital in a timely manner.

In a sense, the CRS has a ‘bird’s eye view’ of the system and can quickly see where your referral best fits in.

How will the CRS affect you?

We believe in right care, right place, right time.

The CRS will help us to achieve this by making sure referrals are promptly send to the right site in the first instance.

This means that you will wait less time than, for example, if your referral was sent to one hospital, and then needed to be redirected to another.

Although your GP will no longer need to choose a specific specialist, where appropriate the CRS will take any preferences into account.

More information

For more information on the Central Referral Service, send us an email.


Health System Improvement Unit

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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