Access to Specialist Advice
Request advice in writing
The first section of the Ophthalmology referral templates is ‘reason for referral’ and provides the option to select ‘advice’. The template can then be completed with the relevant clinical information and sent to the hospital as any other referral.
Please contact the Ophthalmology registrar on-call if you need urgent advice via the GCUH switchboard on: (07) 5687 0003
Guidelines and resources
A wide range of resources and clinical guidelines are provided as a separate section on this website. Most of these can be accessed by clicking on the desired link.
Clinics and Services
Medical specialists (VMO/SMO)
- Dr Fraser Imrie (Director)
- Dr Sharon Morris
- Dr Heather Russell
- Dr Nathan Walker
- Dr Matthew Green
- Dr Stephen Godfrey
- Dr Tani Brown
- Dr Anthony Fong
Gold Coast University Hospital Ophthalmology
Hours - Monday to Friday 8am-4pm
The Department consists of a multi-disciplinary team consisting of four staff Ophthalmologists, four Visiting Ophthalmologists (VMOs) and three Orthoptists.
The team is supported by two RANZCO accredited registrars, one PHO, one SHO and Ophthalmic Nurses with additional Nursing support from Adult Outpatients.
Our service provides General and Emergency eye care with sub-specialties in:
- Retina and Macula
- Vitreo-Retinal Surgery
- Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
- Lacrimal and Orbital Disease
- Eyelid Surgery
Close relations are maintained with other specialties especially endocrinology (diabetic retinopathy, thyroid eye disease), neonatology and paediatrics, plastic surgery, maxillofacial surgery, neurosurgery and neurology.
Referrals are accepted by Optometrists, GPs, and internally.
Orthoptists are eye health professionals who care for patients with eye disorders.
Our Orthoptists work in conjunction with the Ophthalmologists in the Eye Clinic and perform a variety of specialised tests including:
- Visual Fields testing,
- Optical Coherence Tomography,
- Ocular Motility and Strabismus,
- Ultrasound and Photography.
Through a unique set of skills, Orthoptists play a crucial role in the detection, diagnosis and management of eye diseases and promotion of visual health in both adults and children.
Out of Scope Conditions
Clinical conditions and problems that should be managed as emergencies and how to do this
If any of the following conditions or problems are present or suspected arrange transfer to the emergency department
- Sudden severe visual loss e.g. macular or vitreous haemorrhage, retinal detachment or retinal artery occlusion
- Rubeosis iridis (iris new vessels)
- Angle closure glaucoma (unilateral red eye associated with pain, nausea, loss of vision, photophobia, steamy cornea, hard tender globe, ‘rainbows’ around lights, or sluggish pupil reactions)
- Corneal graft rejection
- Contact lens keratitis, corneal ulcers
- Intra ocular pressure (IOP) > 35 mmHg
- Signs and/or symptoms of retinal detachment
- Acute injury e.g. trauma, burns, chemical exposure, foreign body
- Acutely inflamed eye
- Sudden onset of constant convergent squint (esotropia) or divergent squint (exotropia) and/or double vision at any age
- Preseptal/orbital cellulitis - worsening eyelid oedema, erythema and proptosis
- Ocular signs or symptoms of temporal arteritis
- Ophthalmology conditions associated with sudden onset neurological signs and/or symptoms e.g. third cranial nerve palsy or optic disc swelling
Referral Management and Triage Requirements
The following are not routinely provided in a public Ophthalmology service:
- Cataract (patients with best corrected visual acuity in the affected eye of 6/12 or better will not be accepted unless clinical modifiers apply (see general referral information section)
- Diabetic retinopathy (routine referral for screening without evidence of diabetic retinopathy will not be accepted unless in those HHSs without primary photoscreening or optometrist)
- Age related macular degeneration (AMD) (dry AMD is not routinely seen unless the practitioner is concerned about progression to wet AMD)
- Pterygium (pterygium less than 3mm from limbus to apex will not be accepted)
- Lid lesions (patients with minor cosmetic eyelid lesions should not be referred)
- Refractive error - (prescription of spectacles) in patients older than 12 years
- Mild dry eyes
- Mild ptosis
Minimum information required in all Ophthalmology referrals
Outpatient Ophthalmology Referrals
All adult outpatient ophthalmology referrals must have best corrected visual acuity recorded for each eye (using most recent distance spectacles)
Specific conditions have the additional essential information requirements:
All referrals for glaucoma must include an ophthalmologist or optometrist report with visual acuities, intraocular pressure measurements, visual field reports and optic disc assessment.
All referrals for pterygium must include a measurement of the size of pterygium measured from the limbus to the apex of the lesion. Lesions less than 3mm will not be routinely accepted.
Referrals for posterior capsule opacification, keratoconus, macular hole, and Fuch’s corneal endothelial dystrophy must include an ophthalmologist or optometrist report with visual acuity, refraction and impact of symptoms.
Optometrists can deal with some of the eye conditions you may consider sending to the Ophthalmology Clinic such as:
Note: Many Optometrists may Bulk Bill their Patients
Therapeutic Endorsed Optometrists
- Annual Diabetic Retinopathy Screening (if minimal or no Retinopathy)
- Review of Dry Age Related Macular Degeneration
- Assessment of Glaucoma risk
- Treatment of Dry Eye/Blepharitis
- Assessment of Red Eyes and treatment of simple eye infections.
Some Optometrists have undertaken further study to become accredited to administer a number of topical agents such as Antibiotics etc. www.pbs.gov.au/browse/optometrical
Related Links & Information
Specific Conditions and Problems
If importing templates into your clinical software DO NOT OPEN them outside of your medical software as this will corrupt the medical software coding. Word and PDF files cannot be imported into medical software. For more information on installing referral templates please see Referral Template Installation Guide.
For a full list of referral templates please see the Specialist Outpatient Referral Page, The Non-Gold Coast Health Referral Templates Page or the Community Health Referral Templates Page.
Specialist Outpatient Referrals (Gold Coast Health)
When making a referral please ensure the letter is addressed to the Director of Ophthalmology:
Dr Fraser Imrie, Bookings and Referral Centre, Gold Coast University Hospital.
The clinical information and pre-requisite investigations requirements are currently found on the CPC website.
Referrals cannot be accepted unless they contain the minimum required information. If the clinical information or pre-requisite investigations are not clearly provided, your referral may be returned to you asking for more information.
Please note this is not an exhaustive list of all conditions for outpatient services and does not exclude consideration for referral unless specifically stipulated in the CPC out of scope section.
- Age related macular degeneration ADULT
- Allergic eye disease ADULT
- Anisocoria (unequal pupil size) PAEDIATRIC
- Cataracts ADULT
- Chalazion/meibomian cyst ADULT
- Chalazion/meibomian cyst PAEDIATRIC
- Congenital glaucoma PAEDIATRIC
- Diabetic retinopathy ADULT
- Ectropion ADULT
- Entropion ADULT
- Epiphora (watery eyes) ADULT
- Epiphora (watery eyes/blocked tear ducts) PAEDIATRIC
- Epiretinal membrane ADULT
- Fuch’s (Endothelial) dystrophy ADULT
- Glaucoma ADULT
- Intraocular melanoma ADULT
- Keratoconus ADULT
- Leukocoria PAEDIATRIC
- Lid lesions ADULT
- Macular hole ADULT
- Nystagmus PAEDIATRIC
- Posterior capsular opacity ADULT
- Pterygium ADULT
- Ptosis ADULT
- Ptosis PAEDIATRIC
- Retinal artery occlusion ADULT
- Retinal vein occlusion ADULT
- Strabismus (squint) PAEDIATRIC
- Strabismus (squint) ADULT