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Paediatric Otitis Media with effusion/Glue Ear(OME/Glue Ear) and No recent audiology or/further audiology required

Useful management information

  • Refer to HealthPathways or local guidelines
  • If child wears a hearing aid, consider impact of the condition on the ability to wear the device
  • Consider speech/language development, behaviour and educational issues
  • Consider auto-inflation for management of middle ear effusion for children likely to cooperate (RACGP Autoinflation for glue ear in children)
  • Consider referral to speech pathology or child health clinician for developmental speech and language screening in children 
  • Provide ear health advice for management of outer/middle ear conditions
  • Provide communication strategies and recommendations for supporting communication and participation 
  • Clinical urgency is the dominant consideration in the prioritisation of a referral for a child currently in out of home care (OOHC), or at risk of entering or leaving OOHC.
  • Consider referral to Institute for Urban Indigenous Health – for children who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander where local services are available

Queensland public hospitals do not dispense conventional or standard hearing aids # Except for adults who meet criteria for Princess Alexandra’s crisis care hearing aid bank 

Queensland Health Audiologists provide diagnostic hearing assessments which may result in a recommendation for hearing aids and/or an ENT opinion, but not the fitting of hearing aids.

Hearing aids for children and young adults (<26 years) are provided through Hearing Australia (Hearing Australia (Children and Young Adults)

Early Intervention is essential for children with permanent hearing loss.  Options for Early Intervention can be found in the Choices e-book. Hearing Australia Choices e-book.

Clinical resources

Patient resources

Minimum referral criteria (Does your patient meet the minimum criteria?)

Does your patient meet the minimum referral criteria?

Category 1
(appointment within 30 calendar days) 
  • A child currently in out of home care (OOHC) or at risk of entering or leaving OOHC, where they have previously been on a waiting list for this problem and were removed without receiving a service
Category 2
(appointment within 90 calendar days)
  • Children with risk factors for conductive hearing loss
  • Children with severe speech and language delay
  • Specialist concern
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Identifies as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
Category 3
(appointment within 365 calendar days)
  • All other

If your patient does not meet the minimum referral criteria  

  • Assessment and management information can be found on a range of conditions at Brisbane South HealthPathways
  • 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)

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

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

Clinical modifiers

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

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

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 Paediatric Otitis Media with effusion/Glue Ear(OME/Glue Ear) and No recent audiology or/further audiology required referrals (Referral will be returned without this)

  • Concurrent nose, throat and/or sinus concerns 
  • Risk factors for hearing loss (if applicable) 
  • Formal diagnosis of speech and language delay (if applicable); 
  • Comorbidities that put child at higher risk of developmental issues from hearing loss (if applicable)
  • Any other relevant ENT concerns
  • Confirmation of OOHC (where appropriate) 
  • Indigenous Status 

Additional referral information for Paediatric Otitis Media with effusion/Glue Ear(OME/Glue Ear) and No recent audiology or/further audiology required referrals

  • Relevant diagnoses, co-morbidities, disabilities and medical issues 
  • Information about the nature of speech and language concern 
  • Otological history 
  • Behavioural issues
  • Other specialist of allied health services the child is currently under the care of (e.g. paediatrician or speech pathologist)
  • Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Peoples Health Assessment (MBS Item 715) ear and hearing assessment

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 3 June 2024