Useful Management Information

  • Neuroimaging is not usually recommended when the neurological examination is normal. MRI is a more appropriate investigation than CT if imaging is required
  • In the majority of cases it is thought inappropriate for children to wait more than 6 months for an outpatient initial appointment
  • If you have a reason to suspect a child in Queensland is experiencing harm, or is at risk of experiencing harm, you need to contact Child Safety Services

Minimum Referral Criteria

Does your patient meet the minimum referral criteria?
Category 1 (appointment within 30 calendar days)
  • History of malignancy
  • Age < 6 years
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

If your patient does not meet the minimum referral criteria

  • Assessment and management information may be found on a range of conditions at HealthPathways
  • If the patient does not meet the criteria for referral but the referring practitioner believes the patient requires specialist review, a clinical override may be requested:
    • Please explain why (e.g. warning signs or symptoms, clinical modifiers, uncertain about diagnosis, etc.)
  • Please note that your referral may not be accepted or may be redirected to another service

Essential Referral Information

  • 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

Additional Referral Information

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 child safety 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
Last updated 7 October 2021

Send Referrals To

Smart Referrals

Preferred Method
About Smart Referrals

Secure Web Transfer

Send to: Gold Coast Health Service District

Internal Referrals

Paediatric Medicine (E-Blueslips)


(07) 5687 4497


Paediatric Referral Centre
Gold Coast University Hospital
1 Hospital Boulevard
Southport QLD 4215


1300 744 284

Related HealthPathways

No directly related pathways found

Service Availability

Dr Susan Moloney


Gold Coast University Hospital

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.

Child Safety

If you have a reason to suspect a child in Queensland is experiencing harm, or is at risk of experiencing harm, contact Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Services . Please consider if mandatory reporting applies.

Gold Coast Health - For Clinicians
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