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Direct to an emergency department for:

  • Sudden onset debilitating vertigo where the patient is unsteady on their feet or unable to walk without assistance
  • Sudden onset vertigo with other neurological signs or symptoms (e.g. dysphasia, hemiparesis, diplopia, facial weakness)
  • Barotrauma with sudden onset vertigo.

Criteria for referral to public hospital specialist clinic services

  • Chronic or episodic vertigo (e.g. suspected vestibular migraine)
  • Vertigo with other neurological symptoms.

Information to be included in the referral

Information that must be provided:

  • Onset, duration, characteristics and frequency of vertigo and associated symptoms.

Provide if available:

  • Results of diagnostic audiology assessment
  • Neuroimaging results
  • Details of any previous neurology assessments or opinions
  • Results of diagnostic vestibular physiotherapy assessment or Epley manoeuvre.

Description of any of the following:

  • Functional impact of vertigo
  • Any associated otological or neurological symptoms
  • Any previous diagnosis of vertigo (attach correspondence)
  • Any treatments (medication and other) previously tried, duration of trial and effect
  • Any previous investigations or imaging results
  • Hearing or balance symptoms
  • History of middle ear disease or surgery.

History of any of the following:

  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Neck problems
  • Neurological
  • Auto immune conditions
  • Eye problems
  • Previous head injury.

Additional comments

The Summary and referral information lists the information that should be included in a referral request.

Note: there are also cardiology statewide referral criteria for Syncope or pre-syncope and ENT statewide referral criteria for Vertigo.

Where appropriate and available the referral may be directed to an alternative specialist clinic or service.

Referral to a public hospital is not appropriate for

  • Patients with mild or brief orthostatic dizziness
  • Dizziness due to a medicine, hypoglycaemia or chronic fatigue syndrome.