All referals to general surgery are via the oncall general surgical registrar who always carries the #650 pager and a CISCO phone (see the on-call sheet).
Private patients are also referred via the oncall surgical registrar.
Consultant to consultant communication is encouraged, particularly if there are any issues with attendance by the registrar, disagreements about assessment that cannot be easily resolved, or critical clinical details.
Of note, all emergency public endoscopy services are via the general surgical unit in Bendigo rather than gastroenterologists.
Therefore H+M is a "surgical" condition in Bendigo.
Testicular tosion is a general surgical condition and not urology in Bendigo.
Professor Beth Pennington is the sole paediatric surgeon in Bendigo. Paed surg issues can be referred directly to her or via the oncall general surgical registrar depending on the situation.
All burns requiring admission or burns centre consultation must be referred first to the General Surgical Registrar. If a burn obviously meets burn centre criteria (>20% BSA, significant inhalational burn, etc) then burns centre consulation should take place in parallel with local surgical consultation. A lot of deep and partial thickness burns can be managed locally.
All burns patients under 5 years old should be admitted to hospital or have a planned next-day day-case admission to CAU. In order for a next day admission to work Professor Pennington must be contacted, whether she is on call or not. She will review the patient on the ward or arrange for them to be reviewed.
A good outline of burns unit referral criteria can be found here at the excellent Vicburns.org.au website.
There is no full time vascular surgeon in Bendigo.
Mr Tony Gray and Mr Graeme Campbell do some vascular surgery as well as general surgery.
Professor Michael Grigg visits Bendigo but is mainly based at Box Hill. There is a referral pattern for acute vascular issues to be referred to Box Hill Vascular Unit and Prof Grigg. He may be able to help by seeing patients in his Box Hill or Bendigo rooms, by liaising with the Box Hill Hospital bed manager and vascular registrar, or for advice. Not infrequently an alternative destination in Melbourne will need to be sought for an acute patient that needs transferring and the Austin Hospital is still Bendigo's teriary referral centre.
Time critical vascular problems can be referred via ARV if they are imminently limb or life threatening
Most of the general surgeons will take a leaking AAA to theatre when appropriate. Truly time critical surgical cases should always be considered for local treatment.