Referral guidelines

Referral guidelines contain condition-based information for GPs about when to refer a patient, assessment and management measures that should be taken prior to submitting a referral, and what should be included in a referral to the relevant outpatient department or specialist service.

Our referral guidelines aim to help GPs decide which tests and treatments are appropriate for their patients based on their presenting symptoms and previous medical history. Consulting the relevant referral guideline before a patient is referred on to a specialist service may mean that an appointment can be booked sooner and the outcome of their consultation is more conclusive. It can also eliminate the need to refer a patient where preliminary tests rule out the need for specialist intervention.

The information contained within our referral guidelines has been developed in collaboration with specialist medical professionals. They are intended to support referring GPs and are in no way intended to replace their professional medical judgement.

Search for referral guidelines below by entering condition, guideline title or keyword

Referral guidelines

Abnormal movements, tics or unsteadiness


twitch

Abnormal pupil reaction or size


visual, dark, light, eyes, focus

Abnormal red reflex (or white reflex)


eye, cornea, retina, yellow, black, dim, brightness

Allergic rhinoconjunctivities (hay fever)


blocked, nose, running, eyes, allergies, pollens, watering, itching, sneezing

Behavioural problems in child under 6 years


behaviour, misbehaviour, disorders, problems, social, actions, mood

Chalazion


cyst, eyelid, eye, inflammation, painless, inflamed

Chronic rhinosinusitis/nasal congestion


nose, pain, pressure, infection

Coeliac disease diagnosis


gluten, diet, serology

Decreased visual acuity


refractive, squint, see, sight, eye, visual, impairment, fatigue

Developmental and learning difficulties


child development, CDS, red flags, developmental progression, milestones, speech and language, cognition, learning, attention, fine and gross motor, social, emotional, play, behaviour, self-care

Developmental regression


progress, develop, skills, loss,

Diabetes


abdominal pain, vomiting, consciousness, weight loss, tiredness,

Dientamoeba fragilis and blastocystis SPP


Gastrointestinal, stool, pcr, testing, management

Epilepsy


seizure, neurological, recurrent

Epistaxis (recurrent)


bleeding, septal wall, recurrent, infection, nasal, nose

Floppy infant/weakness


hypotonia, weakness, muscle, breathing, swallowing

Headache


pain, head, neck


Hepatitis C diagnosis and management of the newborn


hcv, infection

Hoarseness


Sore throat

Nasolacrimal duct obstruction (blocked tear duct)


sticky, eyes, nose, watery, swelling

Neck mass/swelling


lymph, infection, head

Obstructive adenotonsillar hyperplasia/sleep apnoea


tired, chronic, arousals, restlessness, bed

Otitis externa


ear, infection, water, canal, contamination, scratching, wet

Pale stools in neonates and infants


stool, dark, urine, abnormal, colour, obstruction, bile

Perforated tympanic membrane


head, ear, pain, discharge, hearing, loss, ruptured, eardrum

Persistent otitis media with effusion (OME)/’glue ear’


hearing, aching, middle ear

Plagiocephaly


flattening, infact, head, shape, moulding, skull, flat

Recurrent bacterial otitis media


acute, respiratory, tract, infection, inflammation, smoke,

Recurrent tonsillitis


sore, throat, tender, lymph nodes, fever

Short stature


height, growth, nutrition, hormone, small

Strabismus (squint)


eyes, alignment, aligned, vision, sight, lazy eye

Suspected neurocutaneous disorder


patches, freckling, skin