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Closer to Home initiative update

Published 07 April 2021

The ‘Closer to Home’ initiative involves supporting patients from the other Hospital and Health Services (HHSs) to be seen within their local HHS or another HHS located closer to home.


‘Closer to Home’ requires outpatient referrals to be directed in the first instance to the patient’s local HHS. The local HHS will assess if the service can be provided by them and if not, refer to another HHS providing that service closest to the patient’s residence.

From the 1 April 2021, Metro North Hospital and Health Service (MNHHS) will be redirecting new patient referrals received from general practitioners from outside MNHHS catchment areas, back to the patient’s local Hospital and Health Services (HHSs). The patient’s local HHS will receive advice from Metro North that the patient be seen closer to home.

If it is determined after local HHS specialist review, that Metro North tertiary specialist advice is required, the local HHS is to communicate this to Metro North and identify the tertiary requirement on the referral.

Following feedback received regarding ‘Closer to Home’, the exclusion list for the scope of the initiative has been revised. MNHHS will continue to accept direct referrals from out of catchment for state-wide and specialist tertiary services only. The revised scope of the ‘Closer to Home’ initiative excludes:

  • Queensland Heart and Lung Services (organ transplant, advanced cardiac failure, sever pulmonary arterial hypertension)
  • burns
  • genetics
  • maternal foetal medicine
  • neurosurgery
  • cardiac surgery
  • maxillofacial surgery
  • vascular surgery
  • STARS specialities (general surgery, ENT, urology, ophthalmology and orthopaedics - excluding gastroenterology/endoscopy) meeting STARS criteria
  • Anderson-Fabry Disease
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Friedreich’s Ataxia
  • The Gender Service.

MNHHS’s Refer your patient website has been updated to communicate this latest change in criteria when referring patients to MNHHS services. Refer your patient continues to be MNHHS’s best point of reference for providing GPs information on pathways and guidelines for referrals to MNHHS.

If you have any queries regarding the ‘Closer to Home’ initiative, please contact the office of Metro North Outpatient Strategies by emailing

Last updated: 07 April 2021