Emergency Examination Authorities and their impacts on North Queensland Hospitals

Grant ID: EMLE-103R30-2018- Stone

Project Summary

Emergency Departments (EDs) receive persons suffering major disturbances in their mental capacities, detained and transported by police or ambulance. The Public Health Act 2005 (Qld) (‘PHA’) – amended and in force 5 March 2017 – requires police and ambulance officers to make out an Emergency Examination Authority (EEA) at handover.1 Previously, Emergency Examination Orders (EEOs) were made out under Queensland’s Mental Health Act 2000 (‘MHA’). At handover, police and ambulance officers must make out an EEA. From handover at the ED, the PHA prescribes specific responsibilities, e.g. a doctor or health practitioner must explain to the person that they may be detained for 6-12 hours, the ED Director can order their forced return if they abscond and must take reasonable steps to return patients to a place requested.

Using qualitative and quantitative information the study focuses on the time and personnel resources required to investigate how EDs in north Queensland have responded.

No study has assessed the impacts on Queensland EDs of increasing numbers of mental health related presentations in light of legislative changes governing emergency assessment

Leveraged Funds

- The Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre, 2020, $50,000
- North Queensland Hospital Research Fund, 2021, $5,000
- North Queensland Hospital Foundation, 2023, $5,000



- Clough, A.R., Evans, A., Graham, V., Catterall, J., Lakeman, R., Gilroy, J., Pratt, G., Petrucci, J., Orda, U., Sehdev, R., Thornton, N., Das, S., Yearsley, G., Stone, R., 2023. Emergency examination authorities in Queensland, Australia. Emergency Medicine Australasia. https://doi.org/10.1111/1742-6723.14201

- Clough, A.R., Evans, A., Grant, K., Graham, V., Catterall, J., Lakeman, R., Gilroy, J., Pratt, G., Petrucci, J. and Stone, R., 2021. Recent amendments to Queensland legislation make mental health presentations to hospital emergency departments more difficult to scrutinise. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 34(1), pp.130-133.


Amount Awarded


Grant Scheme


Principal Investigator:
Dr Richard Stone

Co Investigators:
Prof Alan Clough
Dr Ulrich Orda


Collaborating Institutions


  • Case study (August 2019)

  • CONTACT US +61 7 3720 5700 info@emfoundation.org.au Suite 1B, Terraces, 19 Lang Parade, Milton Qld 4064