Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT)

Assessment and management of ear, nose and throat conditions – adult and paediatric.

Availability

North South North West Statewide

Scope

THS Southern and Northern Regions

The following conditions are not routinely seen at ENT Clinic.

  • Prescription of hearing aids - refer to Australian Hearing Services or private audiologist.
  • Aesthetic surgery procedures
  • Facial pain - refer to Oral Maxillo Facial Unit (Link to OMFU page)
  • Migraines - refer to Neurology or General Medicine
  • Adult allergy testing

The conditions below do not require the specialist, tertiary services of the hospital and can be managed in a primary care setting.  Suggestions are made for primary care management, and patients should only be referred if these approaches have been unsuccessful:

Please note we do not provide hearing aids.

Please note due to the high demand for ENT services, we are unable to accept most routine referrals at present.

If patients are referred for hearing loss they may be seen by an audiologist and it is requested that the referrals are marked with Audiologist/ENT to allow them to be seen by both services.


THS Southern Region: If you would like to discuss concerns regarding an ENT patient's treatment/management, such as medication  changes and new please complete ENT Advice Request Form and fax to (03) 6234 9454. Within one or two days of receipt the  patient's treating Consultant, ENT Registrar or on-call ENT specialist  will contact you by phone or fax.


THS North West Region does not offer a public service. See Health Pathways for more information.

Emergency conditions

Emergency symptoms/condtions in ENT include but are not confined to:

  • Airways distress: noisy breathing/breathing difficulty/stridor
  • severe odonophagia with or without subsequent dehydration.
  • Abscess eg quinsy, salivary gland abscess, paranasal/sinus pyocele
  • Haematoma formation eg.septal or auricular.
  • tonsillar haemorrhage
  • Severe rhinosinusitis   associated with  visual disturbance, neurological signs,  frontal swelling and severe headache
  • Batteries ingested  or as nasal foreign bodies
  • Nasal fracture with new deviation and/or septal haematoma
  • Hoarseness associated with neck trauma or surgery or  laryngeal obstruction
  • All nasal, hypopharyingeal or upper oesophageal foreign bodies
  • Vestibular neuritis with  CNS signs
  • Disproportionate otalgia
  • Otitis externa with occlusive oedema
  • Complicated Mastoiditis/cholesteatoma
  • Complicated sinusitis
  • Otitis media with neurological signs.
  • Uncontrolled epistaxis
  • Sudden hearing loss
  • Otorrhea associated with hearing loss
  • Sudden idiopathic hearing loss with tinnitus or vertigo

Referral process

A referral (preferably faxed) is required for all new appointments and must conform to the Referral Standards as outlined on For Clinicians.

Referrals are registered by the clinic to who they are referred and are triaged according to the specific clinic guidelines.

Emergency patient should be sent directly to the Emergency Department.

Please note, due to the high demand for ENT services, we are unable to accept most routine referrals at present.

The referring GP must include:

  • Clear statement of symptoms
  • Duration of problem
  • Functional impact
  • Risk factors
  • For hearing issues an audiology report must be obtained or at the very least an office based formal hearing testing results performed in the GP clinic.
  • Date of last audiology examination – include report
  • Current diagnostic report if indicated in the referral guidelines

If the GP is unable to ascertain the clinical information required to identify the thresholds, this may be obtained from an Audiologist in some circumstances.

Audiology Australia

Hearing testing Find a provider

Eligible for government subsidy

Those not eligible

Audiology Clinic for  newborn screening, cochlear implant assessment and  some non medical rehabilitation for hearing. Adult hearing testing is by exception only and by in house referral. Very limited external referral  for paediatric patients is available.

Clinic Appointments - Appointments are based on clinical priority:

Emergency

Proceed to Emergency Department (ED). Please contact ED Medical Officer in Charge:
LGH ED – Phone: (03) 6777 6405  Fax: (03) 6348 7382
MCH ED – Phone: (03) 6478 5120  Fax: (03) 6426 5115
NWRH ED – Phone: (03) 6493 6000  Fax: (03) 6430 6691
RHH ED - Phone: (03) 6166 6100  Fax: (03) 6222 8919

Urgent / category 1

Urgent referrals should be accompanied by a phone call to the Consultant/Registrar to organise urgent review and the referral must be faxed.

We will endeavour to see these patients within four weeks, or sooner if clinically indicated.

Semi-urgent / category 2

We will endeavour to see these patients within 12 weeks

Routine / category 3

Next available appointment

Referral template

For use by health professionals only

Additional information

Acknowledgement to The Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital Primary Care Referral Guidelines - ENT, Alfred Hospital Referral Guidelines ENT/Otolaryngology and Geelong Hospital Outpatient Referral Guidelines ENT/Otlaryngology.

Direct link to Health Pathways - ENT general page