Management and referral guidelines

From 1 May 2019 referral criteria will apply at CHQ. This condition has minimum demographic and essential clinical referral information that is required to be included prior to submission of the referral. Visit the CPC website for the required condition. If you are unable to provide the required “essential information” please state the reason when you submit the referral.

Management and 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 management and 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 management and 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 management and 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 management and referral guidelines below by entering condition, guideline title or keyword

Management and referral guidelines

Abnormal movements, tics or unsteadiness


Abnormal pupil reaction or size

visual, dark, light, eyes, focus

Abnormal red reflex (or white reflex)

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

ADHD medication management

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Behavioural concerns

Allergic rhinoconjunctivities (hay fever)

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

Autism Spectrum Disorder

ASD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, behavioural concerns, developmental concerns

Behavioural Concerns in Children Under 6 Years

behavioural concerns, behavioural problems, behavioural difficulties, developmental concerns, behaviour, misbehaviour, disorders, problems, social, actions, mood

Bone and joint infections

joint pain, limp, osteomyelitis, bone infection, septic arthritis


cyst, eyelid, eye, inflammation, painless, inflamed

Chronic abdominal pain in children and adolescents

chronic abdominal pain, IBS, dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome

Chronic cough in children

cronic cough, persistent cough

Chronic rhinosinusitis/nasal congestion

nose, pain, pressure, infection

Coeliac disease diagnosis

gluten, diet, serology

Coeliac disease in children and adolescents

gluten intolerance

Constipation in children

functional constipation, faecal impaction, irritable bowel syndrome, IBS

Decreased visual acuity

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

Developmental concerns in young children

child development, developmental delay

Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH)

hip dysplasia, clicks, abnormal gait, dislocation, dislocated hip, splint

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,


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

Dientamoeba fragilis and blastocystis SPP

Gastrointestinal, stool, pcr, testing, management

Eczema in children

eczema, skin, rash, dryness, inflammation, itchy, flare

Enuresis in children

enuresis, bedwetting, urinary incontinence, bladder dysfunction


seizure, neurological, recurrent

Epistaxis (recurrent)

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

Floppy infant/weakness

hypotonia, weakness, muscle, breathing, swallowing


pain, head, neck

Hepatitis C diagnosis and management of the newborn

hcv, infection


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


flattening, infact, head, shape, moulding, skull, flat, Positional plagiocephaly, Craniosynostosis, Flat head, flattened head, asymmetrical head shape

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

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) in children and adolescents

UTI, urinary tract infection

If GPs want to access localised information about assessing, managing and caring for patients, including referral information specific to their local area, view the HealthPathways Community site.
For guidelines that outline the current recommendations for the care and management of children presenting to an Emergency Department (ED) in Queensland view the Queensland Paediatric Emergency Guidelines.
Paediatric Improvement Collaborative Guidelines are endorsed for use in Queensland and result from a collaboration between the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Clinical Excellence Queensland, The NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation and Safer Care Victoria to develop clinical guidelines applicable across all jurisdictions and improve the care of children. View PIC guidelines.


The information contained in each of the GP referral and management guidelines on this webpage is intended for information purposes only. The information has been prepared using a multidisciplinary approach with reference to the best information and evidence available at the time of preparation. No assurance is given that the information is entirely complete, current, or accurate in every respect. The guidelines are not a substitute for clinical judgement, knowledge and expertise, or medical advice. Variation from the guidelines, taking into account individual circumstances may be appropriate.

These guidelines do not address all elements of standard practice and accepts that individual clinicians are responsible for the following:

  • Providing care within the context of locally available resources, expertise, and scope of practice.
  • Supporting consumer rights and informed decision making in partnership with healthcare practitioners including the right to decline intervention or ongoing management.
  • Advising consumers of their choices in an environment that is culturally appropriate and which enables comfortable and confidential discussion. This includes the use of interpreter services where necessary.
  • Ensuring informed consent is obtained prior to delivering care.
  • Meeting all legislative requirements and professional standards.
  • Applying standard precautions, and additional precautions as necessary, when delivering care.
  • Documenting all care in accordance with mandatory and local requirements.

Children’s Health Queensland disclaims, to the maximum extent permitted by law, all responsibility and all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages and costs incurred for any reason associated with the use of these guidelines, including the materials within or referred to throughout this document being in any way inaccurate, out of context, incomplete or unavailable.