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The Resident Support Unit (RSU) provides a range of administrative and support services, exclusively for junior medical staff.  

This section explains how and why you might need to interact with the RSU and vica verca. It covers a number of key process and policies, of which all junior doctors should be aware.

The RSU is located on level 1, under block A, just down the corridor from the RMOs Lounge. Office Hours are 08:00 – 16:30

For details of the personnel in RSU, see "Who's Who"
For more information about pay issues, see "Getting Paid"


Communication with RSU

Direct contact with RSU staff is encouraged, either face-to-face or by phone. Many issues can often be solved by taking the time to talk. All junior medical staff are also advised to ensure that an e-mail record of interactions with RSU is maintained. When e-mailing RSU, there are two generic e-mail accounts which should ways be used in preference to RSU staff member's individual health e-mails.
  • should be used for all roster enquiries.
  • should be used for all other enquiries.

  • When RSU e-mails you, they will always use your health e-mail account. It is a breach of NSW Health policy to use a personal e-mail account for official work matters. It follows from this that as a requirement of your employment, you must regularly check your health e-mail account.

    Communication within the hospital

    Paging remains the mainstay of internal communication. A page is made from internal phones by dialing:

    * 2 page number *

    More detailed instructions about how to place a page, paging over the net or from your mobile, responsibility for your pager, can be downloaded below.

  • Everything you need to Know about Paging
  • Rosters

    In relation to rosters, RSU performs the following functions:
    • Collects rosters pertaining to junior doctors, from each clinical department for the purpose of ensuring accurate payment. You can only be paid correctly if RSU has the most accurate and up-to-date version of your roster and is aware of any roster variations. Forms for notification and approval of shift swaps are found below.

    • Writes the majority of rosters pertaining to Interns and RMOs (with the exception of ED and O&G). In particular, RSU creates and publishes the general ward after-hours shift and relief roster each term, between 2 to 4 weeks prior to the term commencement. This roster identifies the after-hours staffing for evening, night and weekend shifts on the general wards. This will impact on most ward-based interns and residents as well as the relievers. A sample of this roster can be viewed here.

    • Collates the above information and distributes duty rosters on a daily basis. The daily duty roster identifies all the available after hours ward and on call junior doctors. A sample can be viewed here. These rosters are widely distributed via e-mail each day in the early afternoon. A hard copy can be obtained from RSU or switchboard and a soft copy is stored on the Westmead ED intranet site.

    Key documents pertaining to rostering, after-hours shift responsibilities as well as shift and term swaps can be found below:

    Leave Application

    Sick Leave

    If you are sick, you are required to notify the hospital as early as possible. You should ensure that personnel on your clinical unit are aware you are unable to attend AND notify both your Registrar and RSU. If calling in sick after-hours, please notify switch on 8890 5555. You are required to complete a leave application form and submit to RSU. Leave forms are available in RSU or from the intranet. Any sick leave > 2 consecutive days requires a medical certificate. If you take > 2 days leave without a certificate, sick leave will only be paid for 2 days until receipt of the medical certificate.


    ADOs accumulate at one day per calendar month and should be rostered. If not rostered and you require an ADO, you should first approach the team you are working with. Please note that relief cover is usually unable to be provided for individual ADOs. You must notify RSU of any ADOs taken by completing a leave application form.

    Annual Leave

    All requests for Annual Leave must be submitted using the leave application form. Leave forms are available from RSU or the intranet. Leave for Interns, Resident Medical Officers (RMOs) and general and critical care senior RMOs (SRMOs) is assessed, approved and rostered by RSU. For doctors streamed to a department or sub-specialty, your leave form must be signed off by your department head or their delegate, then submitted to RSU. Leave forms for Basic Physician Trainees and Surgical Skills SRMOs must be signed by the Clinical Superintendent in Medicine or Surgery (or their delegate) respectively. Annual Leave cannot be paid without an approved leave form.

    Study Leave

    All requests for study leave are to be submitted using the leave application form. The process of approval is the same as annual leave, however study leave must be accompanied by evidence - such as evidence of sitting an exam, attending a course or presenting at a conference. All types of leave requests are considered, however they can only be granted if adequate cover is available. Please note that study leave is only available to PGY2s and above.

    Leave Application Form

    In order to avoid disappointment, please do not book flights/accommodation or pay for courses until your leave application has been formally approved in writing.

    Term Allocation and Term Swaps

    RSU is responsible for allocating terms for Interns, RMOs, General SRMOs and Critical Care SRMOs, and does so annually in October-November each year. All pre-vocational trainees are asked to formally nominate their term preferences, usually by late September. Terms are allocated as equitably as possible, based on term preference and career direction. All Interns and RMOs will be allocated to one relief term and at least one ED term. The remaining 3 terms are allocated as closely to the individual's preferences as can be achieved. Historically, it has been the case that once everybody's first two preferences have been allocated, most of the popular terms will have been exhausted.

    In general terms, RSU will be as flexible as possible regarding proposed term swaps. In particular, swaps with JMOs outside of the network are usually supported providing the other hospital's administration is in agreement. Term swaps involving relief terms may be problematic if leave arrangements have already been made. Term swaps between Interns and RMOs can also be problematic. They can only be approved by RSU, if the intern is swapping into a term which is accredited by HETI for interns and if the department head is willing to endorse the change in the  seniority of staffing. When a term swap is being proposed, it has to be documented on the official term swap form and signed by both parties. E-mail confirmation will be provided once the swap has been approved.

    Medicare Provider Number and Medicare Prescriber Number

    Medicate Provider number
    A provider number entitles doctors to charge services to Medicare and to refer to other practitioners. As an hospital Junior Medical Officer, you are not allowed to bill Medicare but there are circumstances where you may need to write referrals. Remember that Provider numbers are site-specific, so even if you have an existing provider number from your previous location, if you are changing hospitals you need to apply for a new provider number.  You can apply for a Provider number and Prescriber number here.

    PBS Prescriber number
    A prescriber number allows you to prescribe medications on the Pharmaceutical Benefits System. Most of your prescribing will be done in the hospital, which does not involve use of the PBS, excepting in rare circumstances. On occasions, you may be required to write an outside PBS script, especially from ED. You can apply for a Prescriber number and Provider number here.

    Further information about the PBS can be found at the PBS website.

    Staff Health

    All employees are required to have an employee health clearance prior to commencing work at Westmead. This is done by the Staff Health Clinic. If medical officers are given conditional clearance by the Staff Health Clinic because they have not completed Hepatitis B vaccination and serology or tuberculosis testing, providing they are formally on the staff, they can make an appointment with Staff health by ringing 9840 3649 to get these done. The staff health clinic does not provide emergency or any other medical care.

    It is essential for all doctors to have a General Practitioner and that they do not self-prescribe.

    For treatment for urgent personal health conditions, attend the Emergency Department. You will be seen in order of priority. Staff members should not attend Emergency Department requesting to see particular doctors.

    Other Consultations, Prescriptions or Referrals: Staff members must see their own General Practitioner. Requests for corridor consultations and issuing of scripts should be politely refused. Any such casual consultation and offer of medical advice by medical officers is not appropriate and is not part of your duties.

    Scrubs / Uniforms / Dress requirement

    We don’t have a fixed dress requirement, but we expect you to use your common sense and wear clothing which is safe and appropriate. By 'appropriate' you should be guided by your patient's expectations of a health care professional. 

    Uniforms or 'Scrubs' are not mandatory for doctors, and will not be provided by the hospital. However, you may wish to purchase a uniform, particularly if working in the Emergency Department or on after-hours shifts. Reasonably priced uniforms can be purchased through the government supplier, TAMS, or Total Apparel Management System. You can search for TAMS on the intranet and you will be directed to a login page where you can lodge an order, or go through the following link:

    Another private provider you may wish to consider is "Infectious - Medical Scrubs Australia", which produces scrubs with the Westmead ED logo. Orders can be placed through or

    updated 31/1/18


    JMOs are assigned parking in P1 - the large multi-story car park on the corner of  Darcy Rd and Institute Road and P12 & 13 - the ground level open car parks off Dragonfly drive (which is accessed from Mons Road). Click here to download parking map

    Parking is organised though Secure Parking and linked to your security ID badge, which you will need to access the car park. You will need to authorise parking deductions from your fortnightly pay through completion of the attached form. The form should be e-mailed directly to Secure parking. Parking is NOT managed by the Security Department.

    Please note that if you require an escort to the car park at any time, please contact Security on 57625 for assistance. 

    The cost of parking is currently $23.20 per week for full timers and $15.50 for part timers. JMOs who are rotated out of Westmead will need to suspend their deductions for the duration of their rotation and re-instate them on their return. Form for suspension of Parking Fees - Click Here 

    For any car parking enquiries contact Secure on 8890 3739 or visit the Secure Parking Office (located behind the information Desk near the main entrance).

    JMOs wishing to avoid parking fees, will find that public transport is a better option than hoping to find street parking.


    Lockers are available via RSU. All lockers are new and have been donated by the Westmead Association. You are required to pay a $50 refundable deposit to the cashiers and provide a copy of the receipt to RSU. You will then be issued with a locker, padlock and key. When you are returning the padlock and key to RSU, we will sign off a form for you to present to the cashiers to receive your deposit back. There is a $10.00 annual fee (non-refundable) for the upkeep of the lockers (payable to the cashiers). Westmead Hospital takes no responsibility for loss or damage to personal items stored in lockers.

    After hours rooms

    The hospital has overnight rooms for on call registrars who are called in or for any staff member who has unexpectedly worked back late and needs to sleep overnight at the hospital. The rooms are located in E Block level 2 between the Staff Fitness Centre and the Executive suite. Access to these rooms should obtained through RSU in hours and through security, out of hours. It is important that you return the key to the RSU as soon as practicable after you have finished with the room.   Not returning the key means one less room is available for your colleagues to access.

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