There is no in-hospital or on-call ophthalmology service available at Bendigo Hospital.
For true emergencies or urgent management advice (e.g. orbital compartment syndrome, eye trauma, etc.):
Contact The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital
Phone: 03 9929 8666
Ask to speak to the on-call Eye Dr, after hours this will be the AO in ED.
For less urgent cases which requires reasonable same or next day reviews (e.g. urgent fundoscopy for suspected optic neuritis or suspected dendritic ulcer, etc):
Contact The Bendigo Eye Clinic (private clinic)
Phone: 03 5441 1622
Explain that you wish to refer a patient from the Emergency Department for an urgent review. They will inform you if they have capacity to do so. The clinic is conveniently located across the road from the Emergency Department, so the patient can be directed to just walk across the road to attend and return to ED if the situation is of a nature where you need to continue care after an assessment have been done.
Alternatively, an appointment time is made and the patient is discharged from ED to attend at appointed time and the Ophthalmologist will continue to manage, refer on or refer back to ED.
If the patient is seen after hours and you still require the follow up and is safe to be discharged home, you may fax a referral letter to the clinic and give the patient a copy with instructions to ring the clinic in the morning to arrange an appointment themselves.
The clinic is staffed by 5 ophthalmologists, so their capacity to take patients at short notice is more than the other clinic. (see below).
They don’t mind reviewing paediatric cases, as long as no obvious sedation will be required.
For more routine follow up cases (e.g. rust ring review):
You may still refer to The Bendigo Eye Clinic.
Alternatively you may use the The Eye Surgeons Bendigo Clinic.
This clinic is run by a single ophthalmologist Dr Farokh Irani, so it’s worthwhile to contact the clinic to check if he has capacity to see the patient, they will always strive to do their best. The clinic is located at Bendigo Day Surgery with access at certain times to a day theatre, so if it is a situation requiring EUA or similar it’s worthwhile exploring this option.
For simple paediatric reviews you may contact The Bendigo Eye Clinic for an appointment.
For clinical advice or urgent referral please contact The Royal Children’s Hospital and ask to speak to the on-call Eye Dr.
For developmentally normal adolescents who are not medically complex you may still ring The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, they generally only decline patients in this cohort if they might require sedation for a procedure or examination. They will still be able to offer phone advise though.
For medically complex patients (e.g. geriatrics with multiple co-morbidities or dementia / mobility issues) The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital will be unable to accept these patients. They are not set up to care for acute medical / special needs / mobility restricted patients at all. Again, they will be able to offer phone advise though. If the patient requires transfer for an acute issue you will need to contact The Royal Melbourne Hospital.
For trauma patients who requires transfer for further care it is best to contact the Royal Melbourne Hospital. If it is a true isolated traumatic eye injury in an otherwise fit and healthy patient, you may still contact The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital as your first port of call.
GP Follow Up:
Minor or routine cases might still be followed up by the local GP e.g. post FB removal review, peri-orbital cellulitis review in 48 hours, simple corneal abrasion follow up etc Or if you obtained a management plan from the ophthalmology team you may communicate it with the GP to follow through on care.