Skip to main content

Neurology referrals

Neurology covers disorders of the brain, spine, nerve and muscles. The range of neurological symptoms is wide and includes:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Movement disorder problems
  • Weakness
  • Pain
  • Tingling
  • Numbness

Advice and referral

All contacts and referrals are treated as advice and referral. This is the most efficient way to get the right care, to the right patient, at the right time and this often means that advice for primary care treatment is the first option. It may also mean that investigations are suggested either for primary care or prior to the first appointment.

How to make a good Neurology referral

A minimum dataset is required to allow us to provide effective triage or appropriate advice.

GPs or primary care clinicians should ask patients the following and include this in any correspondence:

  • Duration of symptoms
  • Variability of symptoms
  • Progression
  • Precise nature of problem to allow localisation (unilateral or bilateral, which parts of the body affected etc.)
  • Clinical examination findings
  • Specific diagnoses that you are particularly concerned about
  • Has the patient already been seen by a neurologist? If so; who, where and when?
  • Has the patient had a scan? If so; where and when?

Further information on referrals is available on the 'how to make a good Neurology referral' page.

What we deal with in Neurology

  • Headache and facial pain – only the most complicated and resistant to treatment
  • Blackouts and funny turns – where epileptic seizures are the likely or probable cause
  • Tremors and abnormal movements
  • Weakness, numbness and tingling – in many cases this can be investigated and a serious cause ruled out without seeing a neurologist
  • Co-ordination issues – most balance issues are dealt with by the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) service
  • Neurorehabilitation and head injury – where community rehabilitation and neurosurgery is not more appropriate

For more information, please see the 'what we deal with in Neurology' page.

What we do not deal with in Neurology

Some causes of the conditions listed below are dealt with in Neurology, but in the majority of cases they are dealt with by another specialty.

  • Stroke or TIA
  • Syncope
  • Dementia or memory problems
  • Sleep disorders
  • Brain tumour or suspected brain tumour
  • Back or neck pain
  • Unilateral deafness or tinnitus
  • Vertigo
  • Pituitary problems
  • Visual problems
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

For more information, please see the 'what we do not deal with in Neurology' page.

Last reviewed: 11 December 2023