Wounds of uncertain cause or non-healing ulcers

Emergency referrals

All urgent cases must be discussed with the on call Registrar to obtain appropriate prioritisation and treatment. Contact through:

  • Caboolture Hospital (07) 5433 8888
  • Redcliffe Hospital (07) 3883 7777
  • Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital (07) 3646 8111
  • The Prince Charles Hospital (07) 3139 4000

Urgent cases accepted via phone must be accompanied with a written referral and a copy faxed immediately to the Central Patient Intake Unit: 1300 364 952.

Does your patient wish to be referred?

Minimum referral criteria

Does your patient meet the minimum referral criteria?

Category 1

Appointment within 30 days is desirable

  • Wound or ulcer of uncertain aetiology that is progressing in size despite adequate dressings and leg elevation
  • Uncomplicated foot ulcer in diabetic patient of recent onset
  • Suspected malignant ulcer
  • Acute onset varicose or arterial ulcer
  • Acute onset ulcer in patients receiving high dose steroids or immunosuppressive agents

Category 2

Appointment within 90 days is desirable

  • Subacute or chronic ulcer of uncertain aetiology that is not responding to appropriate treatment

Category 3

Appointment within 365 days is desirable

  • No category 3 criteria

If your patient does not meet the minimum referral criteria

Consider other treatment pathways or an alternative diagnosis.

If you still need to refer your patient:

  • Please explain why (e.g. warning signs or symptoms, clinical modifiers, uncertain about diagnosis, etc.)
  • Please note that your referral may not be accepted or may be redirected to another service

Other important information for referring practitioners

Not an exhaustive list

For high risk foot:

Referral requirements

A referral may be rejected without the following information.

  • Relevant medical history, comorbidities (particularly diabetes, neuropathy, peripheral arterial disease, cognitive impairment, drug abuse, mental health problems) and medications
  • Wound history
    • duration
    • description and size
    • wound initiating event
    • presence of peripheral pulses if limb wound
  • Investigations (if performed)
    • any biopsies of the wound
    • for leg ulcers, include:
    • arterial studies / Ankle Brachial Pressure Index
    • venous incompetence studies (note NOT venous ultrasound for acute DVT)
  • Treatment history – including
    • wound care provided to date (including antibiotics, topical ointments, etc)
    • service provider (i.e. GP, practice nurse or domiciliary nursing service)
  • FBC, U&E, creatinine & LFT results

Additional Referral Information (Useful for processing the referral)

  • Residential status (lives alone, support networks, etc)
  • Access to wound care services, domiciliary nursing
  • Smoking status
  • Nutritional status / dietary intake / serum albumin
  • HbA1c / blood sugar control (if patient has diabetes)
  • Impact on employment
  • Impact on education
  • Impact on home
  • Impact on activities of daily living
  • Impact on ability to care for others
  • Impact on personal frailty or safety
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • To establish a diagnosis
  • For treatment or intervention
  • For advice and management
  • For specialist to take over management
  • Reassurance for GP/second opinion
  • For a specified test/investigation the GP can’t order, or the patient can’t afford or access
  • Reassurance for the patient/family
  • For other reason (e.g. rapidly accelerating disease progression)
  • Clinical judgement indicates a referral for specialist review is necessary
  • Presenting symptoms (evolution and duration)
  • Physical findings
  • Details of previous treatment (including systemic and topical medications prescribed) including the course and outcome of the treatment
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Details of any associated medical conditions which may affect the condition or its treatment (e.g. diabetes), noting these must be stable and controlled prior to referral
  • Current medications and dosages
  • Drug allergies
  • Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs use
  • Full name (including aliases)
  • Date of birth
  • Residential and postal address
  • Telephone contact number/s – home, mobile and alternative
  • Medicare number (where eligible)
  • Name of the parent or caregiver (if appropriate)
  • Preferred language and interpreter requirements
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • Full name
  • Full address
  • Contact details – telephone, fax, email
  • Provider number
  • Date of referral
  • Signature
  • Willingness to have surgery (where surgery is a likely intervention)
  • Choice to be treated as a public or private patient
  • Compensable status (e.g. DVA, Work Cover, Motor Vehicle Insurance, etc.)