Cardiac services

Our cardiac services diagnose and treat heart-related conditions, such as heart attack, coronary artery disease, heart arrhythmia, valvular heart disease and heart infections.

It is important to remember that heart conditions may be treatable, and by speaking to your general practitioner (GP) and seeking specialist advice you can help improve and maintain your health.

We provide clear information to you and your family about your cardiac condition and treatment. Our caregivers will support you and answer any questions you may have.

Cardiac services

We provide a complete range of cardiac medicine including interventional cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, coronary care and cardiac rehabilitation.

We have the latest cardiac equipment on-site.

Our anaesthetists, doctors, pathologists, radiologists, physiotherapists and nurses work quickly to provide a diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.

Your hospital stay

Heart conditions can sometimes be both sudden and serious. During your hospital stay, our caregivers provide intensive support, while you and your family may also wish to seek pastoral care as you address the emotional effects of your condition. 

Your recovery

To help you recover and reduce the risk of future illnesses, we work with you to create an action plan to follow in hospital, at home and into the future.

Benefits of cardiac services

The benefits of accessing our cardiac services include:

  • helping treat and overcome heart-related conditions
  • potential for a better quality of life through improved physical and mental health and ability to go about your day-to-day activities
  • education to help you make better decisions about your own behaviour such as diet or smoking to reduce the risk of future heart problems.

These benefits depend on your particular circumstances and require you to fully participate in necessary before and after care and management. You should consult a specialist in this area before deciding whether treatment is suitable for you.

Cardiac Assessment Unit

What is a Cardiac Assessment Unit?

A Cardiac Assessment Unit (CAU) provides fast, quality care for people experiencing chest pain or a heart-related condition.

It helps ensure quick access to a cardiologist, appropriate diagnostic equipment, highly trained nursing staff and, as necessary, our Intensive Care Unit.

Referral to the service can be through a GP, a hospital or a mobile intensive care ambulance (MICA) paramedic. St John of God Hospital Bendigo has established a CAU to enable privately-insured patients’ direct access to our state of the art cardiac services.

How does this happen?

Patients must be referred. The referring practitioner or paramedic will need to ring 1800 850 133 and answer some questions. The admission process is streamlined to allow for care to begin immediately upon arrival.

Who should be referred?

People with:

  • Chest pain, including differential diagnosis
  • Arrhythmias – non-lethal
  • Cardiac failure
  • Syncope

Patient benefits

Timely admission to our facility. Immediate cardiology review, which means the best care is available straight away. Diagnostic and interventional cardiology (such as coronary angioplasty) can be offered for appropriate cases. Prompt assessment, investigation and treatment of chest pain has been shown to improve health outcomes.

On arrival at hospital

Following their referral to the CAU at St John of God Hospital Bendigo, the patient will be under the care of their current specialist or the admitting cardiologist of the day.

What happens?

When a patient arrives, either by ambulance or other vehicle, they are met by the Critical Care Nurse and soon after by the duty doctor for an immediate assessment. The doctor consults with the cardiologist on duty and a care plan is arranged.

Information for patients and families

The St John of God Hospital Cardiac Assessment Unit is fully equipped with trained staff and state of the art monitoring and resuscitation equipment.

It is an adjunct to our Critical Care Unit and meets all Health Department requirements.

Most health funds will cover the costs incurred, in which case there will be no upfront fee. 

A hospital excess may be payable depending on your health fund.

Information for paramedics, GPs and other referring doctors

This service has appropriate policies and procedures to ensure patient care quality and safety, including meeting all triage requirements for cardiac patients. 

A single telephone call to us puts you in touch with our on-call cardiologist. A standard list of questions will be asked of the referring party to ensure that the patient is appropriate for our service. There will be immediate critical care assessment by appropriately trained staff and access to cardiac investigations such as echocardiography and angiography.

Keeping you informed

An essential part of this service is providing feedback to the referring party.

For all patients attending the CAU, a standard format report/letter will be sent to the patient’s GP following their visit.

NOTE: In case of emergency always dial 000

Hours of operation

Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm

Contact us

For enquiries or admissions to the Cardiac Assessment Unit at St John of God Hospital Bendigo, please:

Call: 1800 850 133

Email: [email protected]

Patients MUST be referred by GP, a hospital or a mobile intensive care ambulance (MICA) paramedic. Please note: Private health insurance is required, or patient can be self-insured.

CAU Referral Checklist

Please provide the following information to the ICU Liaison Nurse - Critical Care Unit by phoning 1800 850 133.

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Patient presentation
  • Previous Cardiologist
  • Relevant medical history
  • ECG complete and forwarded to 0460 313 732
  • Name and number of health fund

Download and view the CAU Referral Checklist PDF.

CAU GP Pathway

Australasian Triage Scale

Category 1 – Immediate Life Threatening

Refer to Emergency Department/Ambulance

Category 2 – Imminently Life Threatening

Important time-critical treatment or very severe pain
Refer to Emergency Department/Ambulance

Category 3 – Assessment and Treatment within 30 minutes

Potentially life-threatening
Situational Urgency: St John of God Bendigo Hospital CAU 5434 3447

Category 4 – Assessment and Treatment within 60 minutes

Potentially serious, Situation Urgency, Significant Complexity Severity: St John of God Bendigo Hospital CAU 5434 3447

Category 5 – Assessment and Treatment within 120 minutes

Less Urgent: St John of God Bendigo Hospital CAU 5434 3447

Click image to enlarge.

Download and view the CAU GP Pathway PDF.