For crisis support call Lifeline on 13 11 14, MH Call 1300 642 255 or in an emergency call 000


Eating disorders

Emergency department

Part of a hospital that provides emergency care to individuals with urgent medical needs and is available 24/7

What is it?

An emergency department is a part of a hospital service that operates 24/7. An emergency department provides urgent care to people when they are seriously ill or injured.

Presenting to an emergency department may benefit you if you are experiencing acute medical instability or a mental health crisis that puts you or others at risk.

What can someone expect?

Emergency departments are available 24/7. Accessing a public hospital emergency department is free if you hold a Medicare Card. You may arrive at a hospital emergency department by ambulance or you can transport yourself there.

When you arrive, you’ll see a triage nurse who will ask you how you’re feeling and do a brief assessment to determine the urgency of your condition. You may later undergo a more detailed assessment by a medical specialist and/or mental health professional.

The time it takes for you to be seen will depend on your condition and the number and urgency of other people waiting.

The treatment offered to you in a hospital emergency department will focus mostly on your medical needs to reduce your symptoms. It may result in a hospital admission or you may be discharged home with a plan for follow-up care.

Who is this for?

You should go to your nearest emergency department if you or someone you care for is experiencing a crisis and requires immediate medical attention.

How can someone access it?

You can access a hospital emergency department by calling 000 or presenting at the hospital. Not all hospitals have dedicated eating disorder beds for admission but transfers can be arranged if necessary.

It’s best to go to the nearest emergency department for immediate assessment and help in a crisis situation. Public hospitals in the Brisbane North region with an emergency department include:

Children and young people and their families can present to the emergency department at the Queensland Children's Hospital (QCH) located in South Brisbane.

There are also private hospitals in the region with emergency departments if you opt to pay for your care as a private patient:

To view the CYMHS (under 18) admission guidelines, please click here, and to view the QUEDS (adults) guidelines, please click here.

You can access a map to find the nearest emergency department to your location via the National Health Services Directory.

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