Useful Management Information

  • Children under school age (i.e., infants to pre-prep), who do not have a diagnosis and do not require diagnostic formulation by a team.
  • Children with challenges in participating in activities, that is impacted by a developmental difficulty.

The following are not seen through CDS Occupational Therapy (OT):

  • Children with play skills difficulties who are currently undertaking oncology treatment or those in post-oncology treatment should be referred to Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH) OT, who provide short term post-acute intervention (e.g., fine motor skills difficulties due to lack of experience/opportunity due to time in hospital, rather than a developmental delay).
  • Children whose play skills are impacted by a history of trauma may be more appropriate for other services such as Child Youth Mental Health Services (CYMHS) or Evolve. Further information is required before a referral is considered.

Patient Resources

Minimum Referral Criteria

Does your patient meet the minimum referral criteria?
Category 1 (appointment within 30 calendar days)
  • No category 1 criteria
Category 2 (appointment within 90 calendar days)
  • No category 2 criteria
Category 3 (appointment within 365 calendar days)

Recommended to be seen within 90 – 180 calendar days

  • Children with delays in play skills in the absence of a diagnosis including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and/or Intellectual Disability (ID) may be seen by OT.

It should be noted that children with significant delays in play skills are likely to be seen through an alternate pathway, as it is unlikely this is an isolated concern.

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

  • Description of difficulties with play skills

Additional Referral Information

Highly desirable information – may change triage category

  • Copies of reports from the school which include information and comments pertaining to:
    • Academic achievement and engagement with schoolwork (e.g., Age/Grade equivalents)
    • Behavioural and emotional wellbeing, and social engagement with peers
    • Details regarding suspensions or expulsions
    • Details regarding school attendance (i.e., days missed, school refusal)
    • Details regarding care history for children in out of home care
    • Details of exposure to early childhood adverse events (i.e., type of trauma, length of exposure, mode – directly experienced or witnessed) and referrals made to address this concern
  • Pregnancy and birth history
  • Other past medical history, including related medical co-morbidities. Please also specifically state if the developmental / behavioural concern is exacerbating the child’s medical co-morbidities.
  • Observations or specific information pertaining to school or childcare
  • Family history (parental consanguinity, history of neurological disorders, genetic syndromes, learning or developmental problems (i.e., Intellectual Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Specific Learning Disorder], mental illness)
  • Results from visual acuity and audiometry testing. Please note that developmental optometry and auditory processing assessments are not recommended. Be aware that without vision and hearing test results the child’s assessment and therapy services may be delayed.
  • Copies of previous Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Psychology, Speech Pathology or other external assessments and documentation if available.
  • Details of professionals currently involved in care and previous services/therapies accessed (e.g., Paediatrician, Neurologist, mental health services, developmental or allied health therapists etc
  • Does the child have access to ECEI / NDIS or any other funding bodies?
  • Confirm presence or absence of significant psychosocial risk factors (especially parental mental / physical health or disability, housing and financial stress, family violence, parental substance misuse, previous or current involvement with CSYW e.g. notifications made). The additive effect of such risk factors will be considered and may change categorisation.

Desirable information- will assist at consultation

  • Please provide copies of the following documents:
    • Any correspondence from support services involved (e.g., Department of Child Safety Youth and Women case manager, Family and Child Connect service, Intensive Family Support service, After-Care service)
    • Current Child Protection Order
    • Immunisation history
    • Developmental history
    • Other past medical history
    • Medication history
    • 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 tests or medical imaging results
Last updated 7 December 2021

Send Referrals To

Smart Referrals

Preferred Method
About Smart Referrals

Secure Web Transfer

Send to: Gold Coast Child Community Health MO Account: GQ4215000TL HL EDI: qldcomch

Internal Referrals


(07) 5687 4497


Gold Coast University Hospital
1 Hospital Boulevard
Southport QLD 4215


(07) 5687 9141

Related HealthPathways

No directly related pathways found

Service Availability

Dr Francoise Butel
Medical Director Children's Community Health


Gold Coast University Hospital
Southport Health Precinct
Palm Beach Community Health Centre
Helensvale Community Health Centre
Upper Coomera Child Health
Early Years Centre Coomera Springs
Norfolk Village State School Health & Education Hub

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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