Speech Pathology (Program)

Available through
Face to Face
Internal Service

Please note: This service currently only accepts referrals from internally referring clinicians. Please refer to the 'Are you referring to the right service' section if you are a GP or external referrer to determine alternate referral pathways.

Useful Management Information

  • This service is time-limited (maximum 12 weeks)
    • If you are aware your client will need ongoing support, please consider other service providers

Before referring your patient, consider whether your patient may be:

  • Eligible for speech pathology services within NDIS package of care
  • Eligible for speech pathology services within My aged care, care packages level 1-4 including Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)
  • Eligible for speech pathology services for DVA Gold cardholders
  • Eligible for speech pathology services for Patients under Workcover

Patients who can attend outpatient clinic for specific speech pathology services:

  • Dysphagia Outpatients – swallowing assessment & intervention
  • Voice Disorders – dysphonia, LSVT LOUD for patients with Parkinson’s Disease.
  • Communication Disorders – speech, language, and cognitive language impairments
  • Fluency – stuttering, dysfluent speech

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patients under 18 years of age are not eligible
  • Patients located outside the Gold Coast Health District are not eligible
  • Patients residing in a RACF are not eligible
  • Patients accessing NDIS are not eligible where Speech Pathology is included
  • Patients accessing a level 3 or 4 Home Care Package through My Aged Care where Speech Pathology is included are not eligible
  • Referrals for ongoing care for a chronic condition are not eligible
  • WorkCover patients are not eligible
  • Patient currently accessing speech pathology outpatient services

Are you referring to the right service?

  • Post-acute referrals – clients who are recently discharged from hospital requiring Speech Pathology review, education and monitoring of swallowing and communication needs that can be met via virtual clinic, clinic based or home visit.
  • GP and Specialist referrals
    • Recurrent chest infections that likely related to dysphagia
    • New or sudden deterioration in dysphagia symptoms that including coughing, choking, aspiration
    • New or sudden deterioration with speech or language ability
    • New neuro-progressive diagnosis and requires assessment, education, and support with application for NDIS & MAC including Motor Neuron Disease, Huntington’s Disease, Spinocerebellar Ataxia, Multiple sclerosis, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy
    • Palliative care for swallowing and communication needs

Note: Community Health Speech Pathology DO NOT Provide -

Minimum Referral Criteria

Category 2
(Appointment within 3-5 working days)

  • Dysphagia (swallow impairment) related to recent aspiration pneumonia;
  • Sudden deterioration in dysphagia/saliva management resulting in coughing/choking/aspiration;
    • Clients commencing thickened fluids on discharge;
    • Referrals marked as urgent by referrer.

Category 3
(Appointment within 6-14 working days)

  • New onset of dysphagia however still managing food/fluids/oral medications;
  • Ongoing management of swallow function/dysphagia if already assessed by another SP (i.e. post-acute);
  • Education and support of communication impairments (incl. dysarthria, dyspraxia of speech, cognitive communication disorders, dysphonia and aphasia) where functional communication is severely compromised, and client does not require rehabilitation

Category 4
(Appointment within 15-28 working days)

  • Need for alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) for functional communication for progressive/ chronic conditions.
  • Education and support of communication impairments where communication remains functional for daily needs and client does not require rehabilitation.

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

Out of Scope Services

The following conditions are out of scope for this service:

  • Paediatric Health services
  • Child Development Health
  • Queensland Education services
  • Disability Healthcare
  • Head and Neck Cancer (non-palliative)

Essential Referral Information

  • Patient Consent to referral
  • Reason for Referral
  • Date of diagnosis
  • Does the client have any cognitive decline or capacity issues?
  • Has the client received a definite diagnosis to do with their cognition or is the client currently being assessed?
  • Are there any concerns regarding client participation or engagement?

Additional Referral Information

  • Has the client undertaken any of the following tests, and if so what were the results?
  • Private Health documents including
    • Private Hospital Discharge summaries
    • Neurology reports
    • Geriatrician reports
    • Radiology imaging including Chest x-rays, Brain images, Barium swallow, modified barium swallow or videofluoroscopy swallow study
  • Medication summary
  • Speech Pathology reports and recommendations

Out of Catchment

Gold Coast Health is responsible for providing public health services to the people who reside within its boundaries. Special consideration is made for patients requiring tertiary services or for services that are not provided by their local hospital and health service district. If your patient lives outside the Gold Coast Health catchment area and you wish to refer them to one of our services, please indicate relevant medical or social information that will assist with the processing of your referral.


Please note that where appropriate and where available, the referral may be streamed to an associated public allied health and/or nursing service. Access to some specific services may include initial assessment and management by associated allied health and/or nursing, which may either facilitate or negate the need to see the public medical specialist.

  • A change in patient circumstance (such as condition deteriorating or becoming pregnant) may affect the urgency categorisation and should be communicated as soon as possible.
  • Please indicate in the referral if the patient is unable to access mandatory tests or investigations as they incur a cost or are unavailable locally.
  • If your patient consents to telehealth, please indicate in the body of the referral.

Patient Must Bring

  • Medicare Card
  • Current medication list
  • Relevant X-rays, scans and reports
  • Reading glasses
  • Wear dentures
  • Mobility supports or wheelchair
Last updated 18 March 2024

Send Referrals To

Smart Referrals

Preferred Method
About Smart Referrals

Secure Web Transfer

Send to: Gold Coast Health Service District

Internal Referrals

Not Available


(07) 5687 4497


Booking and Referral Centre
Gold Coast University Hospital
1 Hospital Boulevard
Southport QLD 4215


1300 559 083

Service Availability


Helensvale Community Health Centre
Robina Health Precinct
Tugun Satellite 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.

Gold Coast Health - For Clinicians
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