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Referral Acceptance

Cardiology referrals are prioritised by senior medical officers based on the information provided. Additional information such as ECGs should be attached where available. The prioritisation tool used to grade referrals can be found below under Access Criteria.

All accepted referrals will be seen within a maximum waiting time of 4 months, unless there is a clinical reason for delay.

For those patients who are not able to be accepted for FSA, Virtual Clinics are now in operation. This allows the Cardiologists to give written advice to GPs to progress patient care without having an actual FSA.

Referral acceptance is a follows:

First Specialist Assessments

Wait Times

Waiting priority 1


Waiting priority 2


Waiting priority 2A


Waiting priority 3


Waiting priority 4



Access Criteria

Patients are prioritised by individual clinician judgement. Pre operative assessments will be determined by the urgency of the non-cardiac surgery.



Referral Guidelines

1 - Immediate

Inpatient (requiring admission)

Potentially immediately life threatening conditions:

  • Unstable symptoms
  • Severe or disabling symptoms
  • Haemodynamic compromise
  • Require early intervention for best outcome
  • Acute or suspected MI
  • Unstable angina
  • Acute heart failure
  • SBE actual/suspected
  • Symptomatic arrhythmias
  • Suspected aortic dissection
  • Tamponade
  • Community cardiac arrest
  • Cardiogenic shock
  • Acute atrial fibrillation

2 (and 6) - Urgent

  • Significant potential for early intervention to save life/prevent hospitalisation
  • Crescendo Angina
  • Symptomatic aortic stenosis
  • To prevent functional impairment
  • Cardiac failure NYHA IV
  • Multiple syncopal episodes
  • Syncopal episodes with known structural heart disease or abnormal ECG
  • Severe shortness of breath with probable cardiac basis
  • Moderate functional impairment
  • Symptomatic valvular disease other than aortic stenosis
  • Potential to save life
  • Newly diagnosed heart failure or known heart failure with deterioration
  • Probable cardiac disease in pregnancy

2A - Semi Urgent

  • Stable patients with known or suspected cardiac conditions where rapid deterioration is unlikely
  • Stable angina

3 (and 7) - Semi Urgent

  • Stable patients with known or suspected cardiac conditions where rapid deterioration is unlikely
  • Chest pain for diagnosis
  • Shortness of breath? Cardiac basis
  • Chronic atrial fibrillation
  • Palpitations

4 - Routine
Not accepted

  • Mild or moderate functional impairment
  • Severe hypertension refactory to treatment
  • Palpitations
  • Asymptomatic cardiomegaly
  • Asymptomatic valvular disease
  • Not normally seen
  • Asymptomatic murmur
  • Difficult to control hypertension
  • Secondary hypertension
  • Hypertension with cardiomegaly
  • Asymptomatic patients with ECG changes
  • Mild hypertension
  • Life insurance assessments



Access to echo should be available on request for the following patients:

  • Progressive or severe (NYHA III-IV) despite initial medical therapy.
  • Suspected valvular basis to heart failure.
  • Suspected peripartum cardiomyopathy.
  • Young patient (eg <65y).