Neurosurgery (Statewide)

The Department will periodically contact patients waiting for an outpatient clinic appointment via SMS, with a link to an electronic form.  This is part of routine waitlist auditing to ensure patient details are up to date.  If you receive this SMS, please update your details.

Assessment and management of adult and paediatric neurosurgical conditions.


North South North West Statewide


Do not refer the following conditions to Neurosurgery:

  • Non-emergency low back pain, with or without lower limb pain / neurology (see Back Assessment Clinic)
  • Degenerative spinal disorders with minimal or no neurological deficit
  • Occipital neuralgia
  • Referrals for these conditions will be re-directed to the appropriate Specialist Clinics service.

    All non-emergency back pain requiring specialist assessment and management should be referred to the Back Assessment Clinic.

    Non-emergency back pain of less than 6 weeks duration should trial conservative management options, such as Community Physiotherapy, before considering referral to tertiary services.


  • Smoking cessation is strongly encouraged for any patient referred for surgery.
  • All surgery is performed at the RHH, but post-operative rehabilitation may occur in the LGH or NWRH.
  • All new patients and previous patients with a new condition may be seen at the RHH, LGH and NWRH for their initial appointment.

Emergency conditions

Emergency conditions/symptoms include (not an exhaustive list):

  • Subarachnoid haemorrhage
  • Benign or malignant tumours associated with midline shift, hydrocephalus or severe deficits
  • Spinal cord compression with severe or rapidly progressive deficit and / or cauda equina signs / symptoms
  • Blocked or infected VP shunt
  • Mass lesion (tumour or abscess) on CT or suspected, with headache with increasing drowsiness, increasing weakness or vomiting
  • Spine # (unstable or suspected unstable) or with neurological deficit
  • Significant head Injury

Phone the Neurosurgery Registrar on call via RHH switch (03) 6166 8308

Referral process

A referral is required for all new appointments and must conform to the Referral Standards as outlined on For Clinicians. eReferral is now the preferred method of referral for this service and is available in all THS regions. Please refer via HealthLink SmartForm eReferral through your software system (either Best Practice, or Medical Director). For instructions, see Quick Guide: Creating an eReferral.

Specific requirements are detailed in the individual clinic and condition referral guidelines.

Clinic Appointments – Appointments are based on clinical priority:

The times to assessment may vary depending on size and staffing of the hospital department.

Urgent cases must be discussed with the Neurosurgery Registrar on call to obtain appropriate prioritisation and then a referral letter faxed to (03) 6173 0491.


Proceed to Emergency Department (ED).
LGH ED Reception  – Phone: (03) 6777 6405  Fax: (03) 6777 5201
MCH ED* – Phone: (03) 6478 5120  Fax: (03) 6441 5923
NWRH ED* – Phone: (03) 6493 6351 Fax: (03) 6464 1926
RHH ED Reception – Phone: (03) 6166 6100  Fax: (03) 6173 0489. Phone the Neurosurgery Registrar on call via Switch (03) 6166 8308 and/or send to RHH DEM

Advice for medical practitioners can be given by the Medical Officer In Charge (MOIC) - see HealthPathways Tasmania for contact information.
*MCH and NWRH MOICs request GPs call them prior to referring a patient to ensure the patient is being sent appropriately to a safe destination.

Urgent / category 1

Urgent cases must be discussed with the Neurosurgery Registrar on call to obtain appropriate prioritisation and a referral faxed to (03) 6173 0491

We will endeavour to see these patients within 30 days, or sooner if clinically indicated.

Semi-urgent / category 2

We will endeavour to see these patients within 90 days, or sooner if clinically indicated.

Routine / category 3

Next available appointment. We will endeavour to see these patients within 365 days.

Referral template

For use by health professionals only

Additional information

For more information, please see Tasmanian HealthPathways.