Sleep medicine

Referral categories

Patients are prioritised on the basis of the criteria below. Please provide as much relevant information in the referral.

Category 1 referrals are divided into very urgent (1a) and urgent (1b)

1a. Very Urgent (to be seen within 2 weeks)

  • Occupational priority patient with MVA (or equivalent work accident) or near miss due to sleepiness within the last 12 months
    • Commercial vehicle licence holder deriving
    • Income from this
    • Heavy machinery operator
    • Public transport operator
  • Patients with daytime hypercapnic respiratory failure where sleep disordered breathing is thought to be a contributor

1b. Urgent (to be seen within a month)

  • Non-occupational priority patient identified at high risk of (further) MVA/s:
    • Near-miss MVA or MVA secondary to sleepiness in last twelve months
    • Reported frequent episodes of drowsiness whilst driving
  • Parasomnias with significant injury to patient or partner
  • Patients with significant Neuromuscular Disease who have a:
    • Rapidly progressive disorder eg: Motor Neurone Disease
    • Have not had respiratory or sleep physician review
  • Patients with unstable cardiovascular disease
  • Patients with overt right, left or bi-ventricular failure

2. Semi-urgent (within 90 days)

  • Patients with documented daytime dysfunction
    • Epworth Sleepiness Scale score 11- 15
    • Sleepiness related MVA between 1 and 5 years ago
    • Social, vocational or academic performance impairment due to sleepiness
  • Where the following sleep disorders are known or suspected
    • Narcolepsy
  • Epilepsy where the sleep disorder is thought to be a provoking factor
  • Patients who have had a sleep study previously with a total Respiratory Disturbance Index (RDI) > 30 events/hour
  • Patients with the following cardiovascular co- morbidities
    • Refractory hypertension
    • Refractory nocturnal ischaemia or arrhythmias
    • Physician diagnosed transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs)/ cerebrovascular accident (CVA)
    • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Occupational priority patients without the above documented sleepiness related driving (or work equivalent issue)

3. Routine

  • Patients with stable cardiovascular disease
  • Ischaemic Heart Disease
  • Systemic hypertension
  • Previous CVA
  • Isolated snoring
  • Patients with parasomnia without history of injury to self or others
  • Patients with stable or slowly progressive neurological disease
  • Other patients not classified above
  • Other groups to consider for less serious categorization
    • Short term memory or concentration problems
    • Unrefreshing sleep

Epworth Sleepiness Scale

How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the situations described in the box below? This refers to your usual way of life in the last 4 weeks).

0 = Would never doze.
1 = Slight chance of dozing
2 = Moderate chance of dozing
3 = High chance of dozing


Sitting and reading0123
Watching TV0123
Sitting, inactive in a public place (eg a theatre or meeting)0123
As a passenger in a car for 1 hour without a break0123
Lying down to rest in the afternoon when circumstances permit0123
Sitting and talking to someone0123
Sitting quietly after lunch without alcohol0123
In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic0123
Score: ...../24

Referral requirements

A referral may be rejected without the following information.

  • FBC, ELFTs and TFTs

Out of catchment

Metro North 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 North 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.

  • Impact on employment
  • Impact on education
  • Impact on home
  • Impact on activities of daily living
  • Impact on ability to care for others
  • Impact on personal frailty or safety
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • 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
  • 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
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Details of any associated medical conditions which may affect the condition or its treatment (e.g. diabetes), noting these must be stable and controlled prior to referral
  • Current medications and dosages
  • Drug allergies
  • Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs use
  • Full name (including aliases)
  • Date of birth
  • Residential and postal address
  • Telephone contact number/s – home, mobile and alternative
  • Medicare number (where eligible)
  • Name of the parent or caregiver (if appropriate)
  • Preferred language and interpreter requirements
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • Full name
  • Full address
  • Contact details – telephone, fax, email
  • Provider number
  • Date of referral
  • Signature
  • 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.)

Specialists list

Send referral

Hotline: 1300 364 938

Fax: 1300 364 952

Electronic: eReferral system

Mail: Metro North Central Patient Intake
Aspley Community Centre
776  Zillmere Road

Health pathways

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