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Once a referral is received by us, a decision is made as to whether an inpatient or outpatient assessment is required. This is done in consultation with the referring doctor and the patients and their family / carer. An inpatient assessment is often preferable if multiple different assessments and tests need to be done. Such assessments may sometimes take months to organise if done as an outpatient and can be very difficult if patients are from rural regions.

Patients will be admitted to the inpatient unit for a comprehensive assessment over about two weeks. Inpatient assessment allows us to undertake a range of assessments in a short space of time, speak with patients and family and provide feedback by the end of the admission. The assessments which will occur during an admission include assessments by clinicians with different areas of expertise. The types of assessments and test which may occur are described below in the two sections below - “Assessments explained” and “Tests explained”.

The team, headed by Dr. Dennis Velakoulis, meet twice weekly (Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon) in the ward rounds to discuss patient management plans, observations and assessments to date. The multidisciplinary treating team attempt to organise family meetings in most circumstances. These meetings allow an opportunity for discussion of discharge planning, and treatment recommendations beyond the patient’s discharge from the ward.

For most patients there will be a meeting at the end of the admission or soon after discharge where a summary of the assessment is fed back to the patient and families/ carers.