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Psychiatrist Referral Letters

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Psychiatrist Referral Letters

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Psychiatrist Referral Letters

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Hi All,


As you all may agree, finding a psychiatrist in Australia to treat a child under 18 is an almost impossible task.


After being referred by our GP to a specific psychiatrist that is not accepting any new patients, I started to call every single psychiatrist in my city to check first if they see children under 18 and second if they have an available appointment in a decent period of time. When I called the practices, the secretaries always asked for the letter of referral under the doctor's name. My answer was always the same; "If you are so kind to let me know if there is an available appointment, I can get the letter addressed to the specialist. However, I can send you the one I have under the name of other specialists who cannot see my daughter, so the doctor understands the case." Almost every practice said ok by the phone, but after sending the letter through email, they email me back telling me that, unfortunately, they need the letter addressed to them. Like they do not understand, I can't ask my GP letters for the 30 Pschiatrsit on my list!


It's very frustrating because they know how stretched the mental health system is, and this kind of requirement does not help parents. I understand the importance of this requirement once they have accepted to see a patient, but for requesting an appointment. They can easily read the letter with all the details of my daughter's case written by my GP and decided if they can take or not the patient.


Now my question that ok? Can practices be so indifferent with parents, knowing all the struggles we encounter in this journey of having a child with a mental health condition? Is this a legal requirement? I was reading something online and apparently is not. And if this is not, is someone regulating this?


I'm so frustrated at this moment, and I want your thoughts about this.






Re: Psychiatrist Referral Letters

Hello @Carlamar , sorry to hear about what you have been going through lately. It sounds like you have had a challenging experience! Do you think it would be helpful discussing this further with your GP to see if they could make an alternative arrangement or get in contact with a practice themselves? Sounds like such a tricky situation, hopefully some other community members can jump in and offer some more support Smiley Happy

Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: Psychiatrist Referral Letters

Hopefully you will get a response that someone is interested in accepting her before having to get another letter. 

Sometimes it is better to leave the letter blank rather than have the previous specialist name? Usually the angry response is when they see another person's name and they feel rejected being the second one considered. Also the admin would be scared about getting told off by their doctors but a blank one sometimes works rather than the hassle of getting the 30 letters?