How to Refer a Patient

TIA Service

TIA Clinic

The flagship, Daily, Weekday, ‘One-Stop’ RASP service for patients in our catchment area with suspected TIAs  operates under the co-direction of Prof. Dominick McCabe and Dr. Dan Ryan, in collaboration with our RASP service colleagues.

An ‘e-mail-based RASP referral pathway’  replaced our prior urgent ‘faxed-based referral pathway’ in April 2019. Please ensure that you include your patient’s name and DOB in the ‘subject information box’ of the email referral and attach the latest compulsoryRASP Service e-mail referral proformaThe form must include your own contact details, and the patient’s details and contact number(s). The proforma has been slightly modified to make the ‘urgent admission criteria’ even clearer, to allow you to type in the information on the proforma which can be saved and sent as an attachment, or to print the proforma as before, handwrite in relevant information, scan and attach the completed scanned document to your email.

The referral will be urgently prioritised by the attending Consultant Neurologist or Stroke Physician who is covering the service. An urgent appointment will be offered, if deemed appropriate for the RASP service based on the information on the RASP referral proforma and any attached documentation which you may decide to send. We aim to allocate an appointment within 24 hours to urgently assess these patients. You will be contacted by our team if an alternative referral pathway is advisable for your patient.

 

Prof Dominick McCabe / Dr Allan McCarthy (Vascular Neurology) will run the clinic service one week, and Dr Dan Ryan / Prof Rónán Collins / Prof Tara Coughlan / Prof Des O’Neill / Dr James Mahon (ARHC/Stroke Service) will run the service the following week.

All TIA patients with ‘high risk’ clinical features should be referred to ED for urgent assessment with a view to admission with the revised TUH RASP referral proforma regardless of their ABCD2 Score, as should all suspected TIA patients with an ABCD2 Score of ≥ 4.

‘Lower risk TIA patients’ who do not fulfil any of the high risk admission criteria, and who have an ABCD2 Score of 0-3, should be referred by e-mailing the web-based email-RASP referral proforma to RASP@tuh.ie each day from Monday at 9am to Friday at 12pm.

As per the prior fax-based service, this email accountwill not be checkedafter 12pm on Fridaysor at weekends. Therefore, because TIAs are medical emergencies, all suspected TIA patients in the catchment area seen by their GP / Emergency Department (ED) staff at the weekend from 12pm on Friday to 9am on Monday, regardless of their ABCD2 Score, also need to be referred to the EDthat day for assessment and possible admission under the medical team on call if a TIA is confirmed (a low threshold for referral to the medical team is recommended). The ED / medical team will initially investigate, treat and subsequently refer patients to the RASP / Stroke Service, as appropriate, on Monday am. Specific arrangements for Bank Holidays will be posted on the website in advance. 

Following assessment by RASP service staff, urgent decisions re management and secondary prevention, including anti-thrombotic therapy, will be made and communicated to the referring doctor. 

Electronic Orthopaedic Referrals

Orthopaedics

The National Centre for the Treatment of Pelvic and Acetabular Fractures Tallaght University Hospital
The following instructions relate to tertiary Pelvic & Acetabular fractures only. This email referral process must be used. Hand Written letters will not be accepted.

 **Updated January 2018

To refer a patient:

  1. Copy and paste the referral template information in to an email and send to orthopelvis@tuh.ie
  2. Radiology images can be sent via NIMIS. Alternatively;
  3. Attach Radiograph Images: maximum of five radiograph images, including Pelvic Fractures: AP Pelvis, In-let, Out-let views, Acetabular Fractures: AP Pelvis, Judet Views (Internal Oblique, Obturator Oblique)
  4. Attach Radiology Images: We do not require the entire CT Pelvis to be transmitted electronically, if relevant: please select a maximum of 12 small sized cuts with four per image/page (a CD should be sent with the patient with ALL relevant radiographs on transfer)
  5. The total size of all attachments must be less than 10MB. It may be possible to attach PACS images which are less than 10MB but for ease of viewing via internet explorer within the hospital, a JPG file representation would be preferred. 

Click here for Template

 After referral:

  1. An automated acknowledgement of your referral will be sent.
  2. The National Co-ordinator for the service will liaise with the Pelvic & Acetabular team in Tallaght Hospital to establish whether the patient can be accepted.
  3. The National Co-ordinator will contact the referring hospital to confirm acceptance. If accepted admission dates will be agreed.
  4. Following admission and surgery, the National Co-ordinator will contact the referring hospital in relation to returning the patient. The referring hospital has an obligation to accept the patient back once the surgery has been completed and the team in Tallaght University Hospital are satisfied that patient can be transferred.

 

National Co-ordinator Contact Details

Ms Pauline Harrison, tel: +353-(0)1 414 2348 or call hospital switch +353-(0)1 414 2000 bleep 1155

Data Protection:

It is the sender’s responsibility to ensure the email is encrypted before being transmitted over the public Internet. It should be noted that personal webmail accounts such as Google, Yahoo, Hotmail and Live mail do not encrypt email. It is understood that non encrypted email containing patient data breaches data protection law.

If the sender has any doubt in this regard he/she should refer to their own ICT department. The hospital’s email system is encryption enabled. Organisations which exchange email with Tallaght University Hospital can do so by “SMTP over TLS” encryption. This means that the sending organisation’s email server communicates with the Tallaght University Hospital email system provided it supports “SMTP over TLS”.

Referral Forms

In order to facilitate the referral process for GPs we have streamlined many of our referral forms. GPs can now download the relevant form when required and be confident that they are providing sufficient information to ensure the referral can be processed in a timely manner.

SpecialtiesDocuments

Spinal Referral

The spinal referral can be used for the following specialties involved in spinal management (Orthopaedics, Rheumatology, Pain Management and the Back Pain Screening Clinic). Click here to access the form.

Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

Referrals to the Atrial Fibrillation Clinic at TUH must include a completed AFIB referral form and be accompanied by any ECG strip or relevant report. Further details on what steps to take following diagnosis of AF can be found here 

TIA

Rapid Access Stroke Prevention (RASP) Service

An enhanced, ‘one stop’ RASP service, operates Monday to Friday for suspected TIAs.

Click here for full details and instruction on how to use this service.

Click here to download the referral form.

Click here for a patient information leaflet.

Rheumatology Clinic

Patients need a letter from their General Practitioner (G.P.) or referring doctor/health professional. The referral form has been endorsed by the ISR and ICGP and can be automatically generated directly from Helix Healthcare and Socrates GP practice software. If you do not use these software packages please click here and forward it to us together with a referral letter. This referral form is for Patients with Early Inflammatory Arthritis. 

The letter should be sent to: Rheumatology Secretary, Dept of Rheumatology, Tallaght University Hospital, Tallaght, Dublin 24. 

Psychology

For patients that are living with chronic health conditions Tallaght University Hospital has developed a joint initiative with the local community facilitated via the Fettercairn Community Health Project.  The Living Well programme is a six week course is designed to help those living with a chronic disease, which can present extreme difficulties and affect multiple aspects of individual’s life such as physical health, mental health and financial status. If you have a patient that you believe would benefit from this programme please complete this referral form.

Urology

To refer a patient with acute ureteric colic please complete this form. All referrals need to be discussed with the Urology Registrar on Call who will provide you with their email address to send the referral to.


eReferrals
TUH accepts healthlink referrals to all Paediatric specialties since 2013. The Pigmented Lesion Clinic for Dermatology as part of the National Cancer Programme opened in 2015.

Adult eReferrals is currently being rolled out in the hospital and all specialties will be ‘live’ by mid-September. Access to eReferrals in TUH is operated by the Healthlink Group and they can be contacted on 01 882 5606

Central Referrals Office

 Tallaght University Hospital Outpatients’ Department runs 156 clinics across 30 Adult and 16 Children’s specialties, this excludes nurse, technician and Allied Health Professional clinics. The Department holds consultations with approx 132,000 Adult patients and 25,000 Children every year. Clinics are scheduled to run from 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday weekly, with morning & afternoon sessions. The Hospital only accepts GP referrals through the HSE National eReferral system called Healthlink, by post or by hand to our Out Patients Department. Please note the Hospital no longer accepts referrals by fax.

Accessing our outpatient clinics
To obtain an appointment within the Tallaght University Hospital Outpatient Service, a patient must first have a referral from one of the following sources of referral.

  • General Practitioner (GP)
  • Emergency Department
  • Consultant to consultant
  • Inpatient referrals originating from an admission
  • Other Hospitals or Health Centres
  • National and regional specialist clinics including National Cancer Control Programme

How are referrals submitted?
GP Referrals can be submitted to the department in person, by post, and electronically via Healthlink.

Post: Central Referrals Office Outpatients Department Tallaght University Hospital Tallaght, Dublin 24. D24 NR0A       

Electronically: via Healthlink

By Hand: At the Outpatient reception desk in the main Out Patient Department in Tallaght University Hospital.

The central referrals office will send acknowledgement letters to GPs for all consultant services except Dermatology & Colposcopy who send their own acknowledgement letters.  

What happens after we receive the referral?
The referral is assessed by the consultant team and issued with a priority, this is based on clinical need. An appointment date is issued based on this priority. Note that waiting times vary depending on the specialty.

If referral is urgent priority: The Patient is added to an urgent Outpatient waiting list and an appointment will be offered in chronological order. Please be aware that different specialties have different waiting times for their waiting lists.

If referral is routine priority: Patient  is added to a routine waiting list and will be notified of the routine priority. Confirmed appointment dates are issued six to eight weeks before the confirmed date. Please be aware that different specialties have different waiting times for their waiting lists. 

Atrial Fibrillation

Don’t Wait! Stroke prevention in newly diagnosed Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

A seven step practical guide
Evidence:  Newly diagnosed Atrial fibrillation is normally confirmed by a 12 lead ECG, rhythm strip, cardiac monitor (e.g. holter) or Interrogation of implanted Device (loop recorder, PPM). Please attach a copy of confirmatory recording when referring to AF Clinic at TUH

Stroke Prevention: Almost all cases of AF pose some risk of stroke and it is important to start anti-coagulation as soon as possible. Before starting anti-coagulation we recommend the following seven step process

1. Assess Stroke risk The recommended stroke risk tool is CHA2DS2-VASc score - available online at https://chadsvasc.org/ 

2. Who should I anti-coagulate? Based on the CHA2DS2-VASc score the following is the current ESC guidance. 

MenWomen
Definitely indicated   2 or greater    3 or greater (incl 1 for female sex)
Probably indicated      12 (incl 1 for female sex)

* Men with a score of 0 and women with score of 1 still have some risk of stroke and need a specialist opinion.

3. What is the risk of bleeding? Recommended bleeding risk tool is the HASBLED score. https://chadsvasc.org/ 

In general, caution is advised when using anti-coagulation where the HASBLED score > 3. However the risk of bleeding may not be equivalent in seriousness to a stroke. Discuss with the patient, weigh up risk and advise. (e.g. a previous GI bleed in a patient with remote history of peptic ulcer disease may not be as serious as a stroke)

4. How do I prepare to start Anti-coagulation? Take a detailed medical history and bleeding history. Address factors that increase risk of bleeding before starting anti-coagulation such as:

- Uncontrolled hypertension - Alcohol excess 
- Anitplatelet or NSAID or SSRI/SNRI use- Consider a PPI if risk of GI bleeding 

- Discuss any proposed elective surgery or planned dental work
- Check bloods (renal & liver profile, FBC, coagulation, thyroid function)
- Determine renal function: Patient age, weight and creatinine level is required (Cockcroft-Gault equation - available online at https://www.mdcalc.com/creatinine-clearance-cockcroft-gault-equation

5. What options do you have regarding anti-coagulants?

Non Vitamin K Antagonists (NOACS) 
Also known as direct oral anti-coagulants 
Vitamin K Antagonists (VKAs)
 
Factor Xa inhibitors:
- Apixaban (Eliquis)
- Rivaroxaban (Xarelto)
- Edoxaban (Lixiana)
e.g Warfarin

Direct Thrombin Inhibitor*
- Dabigatran (Pradaxa)

ESC recommends a NOAC as first line rather than warfarin. NOACS are renally excreted and below is how to dose them in relation to renal profile https://academic.oup.com/view-large/figure/115896945/ehy136f4.tif

6. Before writing the prescription? Provide patient education and check the patients pre-existing medications for potential interaction or contra-indication. Start anti-coagulation if safe to do so. Make the PCRS application online before the patient's discharge / attendance at clinic. 

7. REFER! Let us know after starting a patient on anti-coagulation
Please refer the patient to the AF clinic as required. The referral form is available through this link. The clinic will see a patient within a four to six week period upon receipt of a referral. 

*Kirchhof P, Benussi S, Kotecha D, Ahlsson A, Atar D, Casadei B, et al. 2016 ESC Guidelines for the management of atrial fibrillation developed in collaboration with EACTS: The Task Force for the management of atrial fibrillation of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC)Developed with the special contribution of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) of the ESC Endorsed by the European Stroke Organisation (ESO). European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery: official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery. 2016.