Indications for urgent referral

GPs should consider acute bacterial labyrinthitis if patients present with:

  • vertigo and unilateral hearing loss and acute otitis media and
  • pain and/or fever.

For urgent referrals, contact the ENT Register at the relevant hospital.

Criteria for routine specialist referral via CRS

Patients can be referred if they present with these persistent symptoms of vertigo:

  • comorbid vestibular condition or
  • otological condition or
  • suspicion of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) or
  • vestibular neuronitis.

Routine referral information required

  • clinical history and examination considering:
    • appearance of the ear canal effusion or cerumen history/presence
    • vertigo, tinnitus, otalgia or otorrhoea history/findings
    • audiology report and Audiogram results and report must be included (or state reason why not undertaken)
    • nystagmus assessment (or state reason why not undertaken)
    • impact on patient’s quality of life.
  • outcome of any vestibular physiotherapy assessment, if available.

Information about community management

Further information regarding primary care management of ENT conditions is available on HealthPathways WA (external site). Please email the HealthPathways team to obtain the login details: HealthPathways are currently working on responding to the new criteria and will have all the ENT pathways adapted to WA as soon as possible.