Emergency Department

  • ED Tel: 03 9345 6153

    • RCH clinicians are happy to accept clinical queries from community doctors.
    • If possible please also call with some background information when you are sending a child to us. 

    ED Fax: 03 9345 6006

    • It will be helpful but not essential for you to fax a summary / reason for referral before the child arrives, or send this with the family. 

    The Emergency Department operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We see approximately 90,000 children each year, ranging from newborns to teenagers.

    Other paediatric emergency services

    • There may be suitable paediatric emergency services at a hospital closer to the family. Please consider this option also.

    Triaging and waiting

    Children referred by a GP will undergo exactly the same triage processes as children self-presenting.

    • There is no fast-track service for children referred by their GP.
    • Coming to emergency will not help fast-track a child within the hospital system.
    • Children will always be seen immediately by a triage nurse, who decides how quickly each child must see a doctor.
    • A child may be seen by a consultant, or a junior doctor under the supervision of the consultant.
    • Waiting times may vary considerably depending on the time of day, how busy the department is and if there are any emergencies at the time.
    • The quietest times are usually in the mornings.
    • See DHS website on Emergency care.


    Information for parents


    'Frequent fliers' to the ED

    • The 'ACE' program (Accelerated Care through Emergency) identifies children who frequently present to the Emergency Department (eg four times or more in one year). Their presentations are managed by either preventing or fast tracking admission through the hospital.
    • For any enquiries about the program telephone (03) 9345 6159 between 7am and 6pm.