Peripheral neuropathy Referral Access Criteria

Referrers should use this page when referring patients to public adult neurology outpatient services for peripheral neuropathy.  
Emergency referral
If any of the following are present or suspected, refer the patient to the emergency department or seek emergency medical advice if in a remote region.
  • Acute onset or rapid progression (over hours or days) motor impairment with functional loss 
Immediate referral
Orange exclamation mark in triangle: orange alertImmediately contact on-call registrar or service to arrange immediate neurological assessment (seen within 7 days):
  • Nil
To contact the relevant service, see HealthPathways: Acute Neurology Assessment (external site)
Presenting issues
If any of these issues are present, refer to outpatient services through the Central Referral Service (CRS).
  • Suspected peripheral neuropathy
  • Progressive neuropathy of uncertain cause
Mandatory information
Referrals missing 'mandatory information' with no explanation provided may not be accepted by site. If 'mandatory information' is not included, the explanation must be provided in the body of the referral (e.g. patient unable to access test due to financial reasons or geographical location).

This information is required to inform accurate and timely triage. If unable to attach reports, please include relevant information/findings in the body of the referral and advise where (provider) investigation/imaging was completed.

  • Relevant history, onset and duration of symptoms including:
    • Anatomical site and which limbs are involved
    • Details of any pain or weakness
    • Evolution of symptoms – new onset, progressive, stable or improving
  • Degree of functional impairment (e.g. impact on mobility/falls/employment/ADLs/weight loss/carer information)
  • Alcohol intake
  • Relevant past medical history e.g. diabetes
  • Indicate whether the patient has previously attended a neurology clinic or seen a neurologist, or any other specialist doctor (e.g. geriatrician, physiotherapist, ENT specialist, vestibular physiotherapist, ophthalmologist)
    • If so, please attach contact details, dates and any other information and correspondence relating to these visits      
  • Physical examination findings including motor and sensory signs, reflexes in limbs, gait 
  • Vitamin B12
  • Thyroid
  • SLE
  • Diabetes       
Highly desirable
  • Any previous EMG reports           
  • Nil
  • Any physiotherapy assessment results
Indicative triage category

Category 1

Appointment within 30 days

  •  Rapidly evolving (over weeks) neuropathy of uncertain cause, with significant impact to function (e.g. falls risk) 

Category 2

Appointment within 90 days

  •  Progressive motor neuropathy with impact on function, gait and balance 

Category 3

Appointment within 365 days

  • Suspected or diagnosed peripheral neuropathy without severe complications
  • Mild to moderate neuropathy likely due to known and treated underlying cause (e.g. diabetic neuropathy)
  • Nil
Useful information
  • Nil             


If you would like to submit feedback on the contents of the Referral Access Criteria, please complete this form.

Last reviewed: 29-06-2023