The patient journey


Epworth’s emergency department is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Once you arrive at the department, our nursing staff will assess (triage) the severity of your wounds or illness to determine priority of treatment.

When you arrive, the triage nurse will:


  • Take a brief history and perform a brief examination

  • If your condition is assessed as 'high priority' you will be taken straight into a treatment space for further assessment and treatment

  • If your condition is assessed as a less urgent, you will be asked to give your personal information to our clerical staff

  • As soon as possible, you will be reassessed by another nurse shortly followed by a doctor who will also examine you

  • The doctor will organise any further investigations that they feel are necessary to make a diagnosis


Our new emergency treatment spaces are designed to provide privacy while reducing outside noise. All treatment spaces feature solid walls and have their own TVs.

If you have an acute, but easily treated injury, you may be allocated to one of our fast-track treatment chairs, ensuring you get treatment without delay.

If necessary, you may be admitted to a ward at Epworth Richmond or, in some cases, you may be transferred to one of our other hospitals. Following admission, your care and treatment will be transferred to and managed by a physician who specialises in your condition.


Sometimes it is not possible for an emergency department to be 100% sure of the cause of your problem. If, after leaving emergency, your symptoms come back or they do not improve, it is very important you return to the emergency department or see your local doctor. If you return to our emergency department with the same problem within a two-week period, you will not be charged the out-of-pocket fee. Refer to our fees section for more information.


Please note: when you arrive at the emergency department you will be asked not to eat or drink until staff have given you permission. This is to ensure that food/drink do not interfere with any tests that we may need to carry out.


Visitors to the emergency department

Families, friends and loved ones are welcome to join you at the emergency department during your visit. Generally, a maximum of two visitors at any time is permitted, and visitors may be asked to leave when a doctor takes a clinical history, conducts a physical examination and during certain procedures. At all times, visitors are asked to respect the privacy of the patient and others in the emergency department.

Refer to our Getting here page for maps, transport and parking information.