Independent Patient Rights Advisor

Available through
Face to Face
Internal Service

Please note: This service currently only accepts referrals from internally referring clinicians. Please refer to the 'Are you referring to the right service' section if you are a GP or external referrer to determine alternate referral pathways.

Useful Management Information

  • The Independent Patient Rights Advisor (IPRA) can assist patients and their support people to understand their rights under the Mental Health Act 2016 by:
    • Providing an understanding of Mental Health Act 2016 to consumers and support persons
    • Facilitating concerns around treatment and care with the treating doctor
    • Assisting with Advance Health Directive for Mental Health
    • Assisting with Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT) documentation
    • Supporting referral to legal or advocacy services
    • Assisting with understanding substitute decision makers e.g. EPOA, Guardianship orders
  • Gold Coast Health has appointed a team of Independent Patient Rights Advisors (IPRA) to provide patients with information about their rights and liaise with their treatment team to enhance patient care.
  • The IPRA is employed independently from the mental health team, which enables them to provide impartial advice and support to patients. Support is provided without any influence from the treating team to best allow for patient concerns to be heard.
  • An IPRA is able to assist patients and support persons to understand their rights and work with their clinical team to discuss their concerns.

Are you referring to the right service?

  • Referrals for this service must relate to consumers of the public Authorised Mental Health Service
  • All referrals are triaged within two business days and consumer contacted directly thereafter

Essential Referral Information

  • Consumer's name and date of birth
  • Location of inpatient and treating team
  • Telephone or email contact details if consumer is community based
  • Reason for referral (e.g. referral to legal service, assistance with MHRT, Advance Health Directive, facilitation of communication with treating team etc.)
  • Mental Health Act Status e.g. TA, Voluntary, Forensic Orders.
  • Change in status under Mental Health Act.

Out of Scope Services

  • Provision of medical or legal advice.
  • Advice regarding medication management for consumers condition.
  • Management of mental health related leave conditions.
  • Management of Centrelink enquiries.
  • Support with temporary or permanent housing.

If you require support in these areas, contact your mental health treating team to source information. Although an IPRA cannot directly provide the above information, support can be given to have these conversations with the treating team.

Out of Catchment

Gold Coast Health is responsible for providing public health services to the people who reside within its boundaries. Special consideration is made for patients requiring tertiary services or for services that are not provided by their local hospital and health service district. If your patient lives outside the Gold Coast Health catchment area and you wish to refer them to one of our services, please indicate relevant medical or social information that will assist with the processing of your referral.


Please note that where appropriate and where available, the referral may be streamed to an associated public allied health and/or nursing service. Access to some specific services may include initial assessment and management by associated allied health and/or nursing, which may either facilitate or negate the need to see the public medical specialist.

  • A change in patient circumstance (such as condition deteriorating or becoming pregnant) may affect the urgency categorisation and should be communicated as soon as possible.
  • Please indicate in the referral if the patient is unable to access mandatory tests or investigations as they incur a cost or are unavailable locally.
  • If your patient consents to telehealth, please indicate in the body of the referral.

Patient Must Bring

  • Medicare card
  • Any concession cards (e.g. Pension, Health Care, DVA, PBS Safety Net, ADF, etc.)
  • Current medication list
  • Reading glasses, hearing and mobility aids
Last updated 18 August 2021

Send Referrals To

Smart Referrals

Not Available

Secure Web Transfer

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Internal Referrals

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Not available


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1800 316 678

Service Availability


Gold Coast University Hospital
Robina Hospital
Southport Health Precinct
Palm Beach Community Health Centre
Older Persons Community Mental Health
Child and Youth Mental Health Inpatient Unit (CYMHS)

If you would like to send a named referral, please address it to the specialist listed above, who will allocate a suitably qualified specialist to see the patient. Alternatively, you can view a full list of our specialists.

Gold Coast Health - For Clinicians
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