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Adult Audiology

Useful management information

Hearing devices including hearing aids

The Australian Government Hearing Services Program provides a range of free and subsidised hearing devices including hearing aids to eligible people. Please see for more information.

Minimum referral criteria

Does your patient meet the minimum referral criteria?

Category 1
(appointment within 30 calendar days)

If you feel your patient meets Category 1 criteria, please mark “urgent” on your referral

  • Sudden onset hearing loss (unilateral or bilateral)
  • Sudden deterioration of hearing (unilateral or bilateral)
  • Urgent as requested by GP

Examples (not an exhaustive list):

  • Ototoxicity
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Head Injury (eg. temporal bone fractures)
  • Meningitis
  • Auto-immune disease
  • Barotrauma
  • Facial nerve disorder (eg. Bell’s Palsy)
  • Acoustic trauma
Category 2
(appointment within 90 calendar days)
  • Outer +/or middle ear conditions
  • Unilateral hearing loss
  • Unilateral tinnitus
  • Severe tinnitus (unilateral or bilateral)
  • New presentation (undiagnosed) of bilateral hearing loss
  • Audiology review requested by GP
  • Fluctuating hearing loss
  • Vertigo
  • Significant communication difficulty due to hearing impairment

Examples (not an exhaustive list):

  • Conductive earing loss
  • Otitis media
  • Perforation
  • Meniere’s Disease
Category 3
(appointment within 365 calendar days)

Annual/bi-annual monitoring as requested by external referrals.

Examples (not an exhaustive list):

  • Adult hearing assessment due to aging and/or noise exposure

If your patient does not meet the minimum referral criteria

  • Consider other treatment pathways or an alternative diagnosis
  • If the patient does not meet the criteria for referral but the referring practitioner believes the patient requires specialist review, a clinical override may be requested:
    • Please explain why (e.g. warning signs or symptoms, clinical modifiers, uncertain about diagnosis, etc.)
    • Please note that your referral may not be accepted or may be redirected to another service

Standard referral information To be included in all referrals

Patient's Demographic Details

  • Full name (including aliases)
  • Date and country of birth
  • Residential and postal address including whether patient resides at an aged care facility
  • Telephone contact number/s – home, mobile and alternative
  • Medicare number (where eligible)
  • Name of the parent or caregiver (if appropriate)
  • Name of delegate and contact details (Department of Corrective Services)
  • Preferred language and interpreter requirements
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • Any special needs, access requirements and/or disability relevant to the referral

Referring Practitioner Details

  • Full name
  • Full address
  • Contact details – telephone, fax, email
  • Provider number
  • Date of referral
  • Signature
  • Nominated general practitioner’s details (if known), if the nominated general practitioner is different from the referring practitioner

Relevant clinical information about the condition

  • Presenting symptoms (evolution and duration)
  • Physical findings
  • Details of previous treatment (including systemic and topical medications prescribed) including the course and outcome of the treatment
  • All conservative options that have been pursued unsuccessfully prior to referral
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Details of any associated medical conditions which may affect the condition or its treatment (e.g. diabetes, BMI), noting these must be stable and controlled prior to referral
  • Any special care requirements where relevant (e.g tracheostomy in place, oxygen required)
  • Current medications and dosages
  • Drug allergies
  • Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs use
  • A comprehensive capture of information in relation to MSH Referral Criteria

Reason for request

  • To establish a diagnosis
  • For treatment or intervention
  • For advice and management
  • For specialist to take over management
  • Reassurance for GP/second opinion
  • For a specified test/investigation the GP can't order, or the patient can't afford or access
  • Reassurance for the patient/family
  • For other reason (e.g. rapidly accelerating disease progression)
  • Clinical judgement indicates a referral for specialist review is necessary

Clinical modifiers

  • Impact on employment
  • Impact on education
  • Impact on home
  • Impact on activities of daily living functioning – low/medium/high
  • Impact on ability to care for others
  • Impact on personal frailty or safety
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

The presence of clinical modifiers may impact the categorisation of the patient.

Other relevant information

  • Willingness to have surgery (where surgery is a likely intervention)
  • Choice to be treated as a public or private patient
  • Compensable status (e.g. DVA, Work Cover, Motor Vehicle Insurance, etc.)

Essential referral information for Adult Audiology

  • Reason for referral
  • Description of problem

Additional referral information for Adult Audiology

  • Name
  • Contact details (address and phone)
  • Patient demographics
  • Date of birth

Out of catchment

Metro South Health is responsible for providing public health services to the people who reside within its boundaries. Special consideration is made for patients requiring tertiary care or services that are not provided by their local Hospital and Health Service.  If your patient lives outside the Metro South Health area and you wish to refer them to one of our services, inclusion of information regarding their particular medical and social factors will assist with the triaging of your referral.

Last updated 26 July 2019
Last reviewed 17 May 2017