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Mental health

Urgent referrals

If you are sending an emergency patient as an urgent referral for mental health assessment you must phone the Acute Care Team to discuss before sending the patient.

Rockhampton Acute Care Team
Phone: (07) 4920 6111   Fax: (07) 4920 5792

Business hours
Gladstone (07) 4976 3244
Emerald (07) 4983 9750
Biloela (07) 4992 7000
Capricorn Coast (07) 4913 3062
Rockhampton Acute Care Team (07) 4920 6111


Mental Health Intake includes

  • Reason for referral
  • Presenting problems
  • Relevant history and clinical details
  • Substance use, comorbidity
  • Mental state exam
  • Risk assessment
  • Acute management

The Mental Health Intake may be followed with a Mental Health Assessment, depending on issues identified.

Mental Health Assessment includes above and also:

  • Comprehensive psychiatric history
  • Medications current/past
  • Medical history, family and personal history of significance
  • Comprehensive drug screen
  • Forensic and legal issues
  • Comprehensive risk screen
  • Treatment plan, follow up plan as per RANZCP guidelines

Triage scale and referral categorisation

The Queensland Mental Health Services use the Triage Scale to triage referrals received. The Codes referred to below are explained in the Triage Scale . Referrals are categorised as Urgent, Semi-urgent and Non-urgent.

Immediate and Very Urgent referrals (Triage Code A and B)

Immediate assessment or within 4 hours

Urgent and Semi-Urgent referrals (Triage Codes C and D)

Assessment required within 24 to 72 hours

Non – urgent / Routine Assessment

A. Non – urgent / Routine Assessment by Intake and Acute Care Teams (Triage Code E)

B. Non – urgent / Routine Assessment by a Specialist

MBS Item 291 outpatient mental health assessments: This is a one off assessment conducted by a Specialist Psychiatrist who will provide a comprehensive report as per the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) guidelines. The criteria for this referral includes: the patient is not in a crisis, it is a one-off assessment with a management plan provided to facilitate the General Practitioner continuing the further management of the patient, the referring General Practitioner agrees to continue the further management of the patient and the report is not for a third party requirement (such as Work Cover, Courts or similar).

  • This category is for Non-urgent referrals. Patients that are assessed as Triage Codes A, B, C and D would not be appropriate for this category.
  • The waiting time for the appointment to be seen by a Specialist psychiatrist is between 4 and 6 weeks.
  • This pathway is for patients that are deemed to require an assessment by a Specialist psychiatrist for diagnostic clarification / opinion and management plan as under MBS Items 291, 293 or 296.
  • Some patients in this category could be equally assessed by private psychiatrists by Tele-psychiatry as clarified under ‘C’ below. It is likely that there will be a shorter waiting period in this option.

C. Private Psychiatrist MBS Item Tele-psychiatry Assessments

D. Triage Categories F and G

Last updated: 15 March 2022