These guidelines have been produced to guide clinical decision making for general practitioners (GPs). They are not strict protocols. Clinical common-sense should be applied at all times. These clinical guidelines should never be relied on as a substitute for proper assessment with respect to the particular circumstances of each case and the needs of each patient. Clinicians should also consider the local skill level available and their local area policies before following any guideline.


Neurosurgery at PCH manages surgical conditions within the brain and spinal cord. Conditions such as:

  • Brain tumours 
  • Spinal cord tumours
  • Hydrocephalus and other ventricular conditions
  • Chiari Malformations
  • Syringomyelia
  • Spinal Dysraphism/ Tethered Cords
    • NB: if the child requires a multidisciplinary approach(urology, paediatricians, physio, education etc) then referral to our Spinal rehab unit may be more appropriate.

We do not manage back pain, nor bony/disc pathology of the spine. (ie anterior axial spine).

To help prevent delays

  • Cranial synostosis referrals should go to the Craniofacial unit
  • Epilepsy referrals should first go to Neurology/Epilepsy program.

Pre-referral investigations

  • Relevant imaging for the referral. eg US or CT, at least OR +/- MRI.

When to refer

  • New patients under the age of 16
  • Brain tumour patients under the age of 18.

How to refer

  • Routine non-urgent referrals from a GP or a Consultant should go to the Central Referral Service
  • Routine non-urgent referrals from a nurse practitioner, non-medical referrers or private hospitals go to the PCH Referral Office.
  • Urgent referrals (e.g. raised intracranial pressure) should be referred to PCH ED for assessment.

Essential information to include in your referral

  • Clinical symptoms and signs relevant to the referral
  • Results of relevant imaging
  • Include history of previous Neurological operations and imaging if any.

Referring department

Reviewer/Team: Dr Sharon Lee and Dr Simon Williams - Neurology Last reviewed: Jan 2021

Review date: Jan 2024
Endorsed by:
CPAC Date:  Jan 2021

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