Referral to emergency

If any of the following are present or suspected, please refer the patient to the emergency department (via ambulance if necessary) or seek emergent medical advice if in a remote region.

  • sudden onset debilitating constant vertigo where the patient is very imbalanced (vestibular neuritis/stroke)

For clinical advice, please telephone the relevant metropolitan Local Health Network switchboard and ask to speak to the relevant specialty service.

Central Adelaide Local Health Network

Northern Adelaide Local Health Network

Southern Adelaide Local Health Network

Category 1 — appointment clinically indicated within 30 days

  • nil

Category 2 — appointment clinically indicated within 90 days

  • nil

Category 3 — appointment clinically indicated within 365 days

  • benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BBPV) refractory to repeated canalith repositioning manoeuvres after a minimum of 3 treatments for the affected ear
  • symptoms not resolved after seeing vestibular physiotherapist
  • chronic vertigo and episodic vertigo
  • severe vertigo

For information on referral forms and how to import them, please view general referral information.

Essential referral information

Completion required before first appointment to ensure patients are ready for care. 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.

  • identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • relevant social history, including identifying if you feel your patient is from a vulnerable population and/or requires a third party to receive correspondence on their behalf
  • interpreter requirements
  • relevant medical history of any of the following:
    • cardiovascular
    • neck problems
    • neurological
    • autoimmune conditions
    • eye problems
    • previous head injury
    • middle ear disease/surgery
  • description of:
    • onset, duration, frequency and severity
    • functional impact of vertigo
    • associated otological /neurological symptoms
    • previous diagnosis of vertigo related condition
    • previous treatments (medication/other) including duration of and effect
  • any relevant investigations/imaging
  • hearing/balance symptoms
  • medication list including over the counter and herbal remedies

Additional information to assist triage categorisation

Diagnostic audiology assessment (highly desirable)

Clinical management advice

Refer to ‘clinician resources’ as initial point for management.

Assess safety to drive–especially if concerns of falls and mobility are present

Consider referrals for the following:

  • organise audiological assessment
  • vestibular physiotherapy

If patient is considered at risk of falling:

  • occupational therapy home assessment
  • physiotherapist mobility assessment

Clinical resources