The Department will periodically contact patients waiting for an outpatient clinic appointment via SMS, with a link to an electronic form.  This is part of routine waitlist auditing to ensure patient details are up to date.  If you receive this SMS, please update your details.


North South North West Statewide

Pre-referral work-up


All referrals should comply with the Referral Standards and specifically include:

  • Smoking and occupational history
  • Immunisation status
  • Functional status
  • Current and past medications

Patients with COPD where there are the following concerns may be referred:

  • Diagnostic uncertainty
  • Unusual symptoms e.g. haemoptysis
  • Rapid decline in FEV1
  • Moderate to severe COPD
  • Cor Pulmonale
  • Respiratory failure and assessment for supplemental oxygen
  • Assessment for pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Assessment for lung transplantation
  • Patients with frequent exacerbations
  • Bullous lung disease
  • COPD in patients less than 40 years of age
  • Assessment for lung volume reduction procedures



  • Sputum M/C/S


  • CXR


  • Spirometry (if available)

Interim/GP management

To refer a patient with this condition, please see the Respiratory and Sleep Medicine clinic page for the full referral process and templates.

To refer a patient with this condition, please see the Respiratory and Sleep Medicine Clinic page for the full referral process and templates.

Refer to the COPDX guidelines

  1. Confirm diagnosis
  2. Optimise function
  3. Prevent deterioration
  4. Develop support
  5. Manage exacerbations

See Health Pathways - COPD page

For more information please see the Tasmanian Health Pathways website.


Acute exacerbations of COPD with respiratory failure

COPD with respiratory failure

Urgent / category 1

COPD with worsening right heart failure

Semi-urgent / category 2

Recurrent acute exacerbations or acute presentations to emergency
Uncontrolled but stable symptoms on daily basis that limit ADLs
Significant co-morbidities
Requiring assessment for oxygen therapy

Routine / category 3

Diagnostic uncertainty
Stable COPD for consideration for pulmonary rehabilitation 

Note that following assessment, your referral may be forwarded to the Pulmonary Rehabilitation service on your behalf where appropriate.

Red flags are clinical indicators of possible serious underlying conditions requiring further medical intervention. They may or may not indicate an emergency.


Proceed to Emergency Department (ED).
LGH ED Reception  – Phone: (03) 6777 6405  Fax: (03) 6777 5201
MCH ED* – Phone: (03) 6478 5120  Fax: (03) 6441 5923
NWRH ED* – Phone: (03) 6493 6351 Fax: (03) 6464 1926
RHH ED Reception – Phone: (03) 6166 6100  Fax: (03) 6173 0489

Advice for medical practitioners can be given by the Medical Officer In Charge (MOIC) - see HealthPathways Tasmania for contact information.
*MCH and NWRH MOICs request GPs call them prior to referring a patient to ensure the patient is being sent appropriately to a safe destination.


We will endeavour to see these patients within four weeks.

Patients with suspected lung cancer will be seen within one week.

Urgent referrals should be accompanied by a phone call to the Respiratory Department and/or the relevant doctor for urgent assessment.


We will endeavour to see these patients within 12 weeks.


Next available appointment.