Hearing loss – Paediatric

This RAC is applicable to referrals for patients aged <16 years only. Please refer to the Adult ENT RAC for referrals for patients aged 16 years or more.

Emergency and immediate referrals

Referral to Emergency Department

If any of the following are present or suspected, please refer the patient to the emergency department (via ambulance if necessary) or seek emergency medical advice if in a remote region:

  • Acute and/or complicated mastoiditis
  • Any suspicions of the complications of ASOM i.e. Mastoiditis (proptosis of pinna), meningitis etc
  • Auricular haematoma
  • ENT conditions with associated neurological signs e.g. facial nerve palsy, profound vertigo and/or sudden deterioration in sensorineural hearing
  • Foreign body
  • New onset facial nerve palsy
  • Otitis externa with uncontrolled pain and/or cellulitis extending beyond the ear canal and/or ear canal is swollen shut
  • Trauma

Immediately contact on-call registrar or service to arrange an immediate ENT assessment (seen within 7 days) for:

  • Nil

To contact the relevant service, please see HealthPathways: Acute Paediatric ENT Assessment

Presenting issues
  • Hearing loss of any severity
Mandatory referral information (referral will be returned if this information is not included)


  • Details of previous conservative treatment and outcome


  • Otoscopy findings


  • Diagnostic audiology assessment (where available and providing it will not cause significant delay)

If unable to attach reports, please include information/findings in the body of the referral

Referrer to state reason if not able to include mandatory information in referral (e.g. patient unable to access test due to geographical location or financial cost)

Highly desirable referral information
  • Nil
Indicative triage category
Indicative triage category
Category 1
Appointment within 30 days
  • Sudden, unexplained hearing loss
  • Recently diagnosed unilateral/bilateral sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) or congenital hearing loss
  • Conductive hearing loss if acute with discharge 
Category 2
Appointment within 90 days
  • Confirmed structural damage
  • Hearing loss in the setting of speech delay or educational handicap
  • Hearing loss requiring hearing aid authorisation
  • Recent diagnosis of bilateral conductive hearing loss
Category 3
Appointment within 365 days
  • Recent diagnosis of unilateral conductive hearing loss
Excluded ENT services

Referral to public paediatric ENT outpatient services is not routinely accepted for the following conditions:

Condition Details (where applicable)
Hearing aid dispensing
Hearing loss

Excluded condition when the following features apply:

  • Patients with normal audiogram
Last reviewed: 25-05-2023

More information

Email: DOHSpecialistRAC@health.wa.gov.au