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Minimum Referral Criteria

  • Category 1
    (appointment within 30 calendar days)
    • History of malignancy, recent head trauma
    • Age < 6 years
    • A child currently in out of home care (OOHC) or at risk of entering or leaving OOHC, where they have previously been on a waiting list for this problem and were removed without receiving a service
  • Category 2
    (appointment within 90 calendar days)
    • Headaches with initial onset within 3 months of referral
    • Missing significant amounts of school due to headaches
  • Category 3
    (appointment within 365 calendar days)
    • Chronic headaches that have previously been assessed by a specialist

1. Reason for request Indicate on the referral

  • To establish a diagnosis
  • For treatment or intervention
  • For advice and management
  • For specialist to take over management
  • Reassurance for GP/second opinion
  • For a specified test/investigation the GP can't order, or the patient can't afford or access
  • Reassurance for the patient/family
  • For other reason (e.g. rapidly accelerating disease progression)
  • Clinical judgement indicates a referral for specialist review is necessary

2. Essential referral information Referral will be returned without this

  • Detailed history of headaches
    • how long has the patient been getting headaches?
    • what is their frequency and duration?
  • BP (right arm, with appropriate sized cuff)
  • Report presence or absence of concerning features
    • Change in mood, mental status or school performance since the onset of the headaches
    • Headaches usually present on waking or wake the child in the early morning
  • Confirmation of OOHC (where appropriate)

3. Additional referral information Useful for processing the referral

Highly desirable Information – may change triage category

  • Exacerbating and relieving factors
  • Reason for presentation at this time
  • Details of previous specialist assessment
  • Burden of disease:
    • are there associated symptoms (vomiting, behaviour change)?
    • is the child missing school? how many days missed in the last month?
    • is the headache affecting sleep?
    • other information to assess the burden of the symptom

Desirable Information- will assist at consultation.

  • Other past medical history
  • Immunisation history
  • Developmental history
  • Medication history
  • Significant psychosocial risk factors (especially parents mental health, family violence, housing and financial stress, Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs involvement)
  • Height/weight/head circumference and growth charts with prior measurements if available.
  • Other physical examination findings inclusive of CNS, birth marks or dysmorphology
  • Any relevant laboratory results or medical imaging reports, urinalysis result

4. Request

Last updated: 13 June 2023