Tips for Successful Admission

It can be challenging to get people with eating disorders admitted, despite an identified need for inpatient care.

Here are 3 simple steps to maximise the chances that admission occurs: 

1. Referral letter  

Ensure your referral letter requesting assessment for possible admission includes: 

  • Your concerns regarding the persons medical/psychiatric presentation, highlighting risks 
  • How and why the person meets medical/psychiatric criteria for admission  
  • Relevant information about the individual's capacity/lack of capacity to make changes to reduce risk 
  • Relevant family/carer concerns and capacity to support change  
  • Attach a copy of the eating disorder inpatient admission guidelines relevant to your jurisdiction  

For admission guidelines in your state/territory see: Indicators for Admission.

2. Call ahead  

Before sending the person to hospital, contact the consultant/registrar on call and/or a member of an identified eating disorder team.  

During this call:  

  • Alert the consultant/registrar to the person you are sending in  
  • Outline the risks you have identified and what you are concerned about 
  • Articulate how and why the person meets criteria for admission  
  • Ask whether there is someone in particular that the person should be seen by when they attend  

3. Empower the client, their family/supports 

  • Give the person a copy of the referral letter  
  • Provide the client, their family/supports with the name of the person you have spoken to.  
  • Tell them to inform triage on arrival. (e.g. My GP has referred me here for an assessment. Apparently they spoke to Dr Brown, would it be possible for you to advise Dr Brown that we have arrived?)

Patient was rejected from the emergency department: What now?