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Guideline

Suspected neurological conditions: recognition and referral

Read time: 1 mins
Last updated:16th Aug 2019

This guideline covers the initial assessment of symptoms and signs that might indicate a neurological condition. It helps non-specialist healthcare professionals to identify people who should be offered referral for specialist investigation.

In July 2019, following user feedback we changed the timing of referral from urgent to immediate for adults with sudden-onset speech or language disturbance and children under 4 years with a change in head circumference and signs or symptoms of raised intracranial pressure.

Currently there is a lack of support to help non-specialists identify when a referral for specialist investigation of neurological symptoms or signs should be made. This has led to delays in referral for people with treatable or potentially serious neurological conditions, and unnecessary referrals for others. Although many specialist professional and charitable bodies have produced guidance on specific neurological conditions, there is a need for overarching guidance that covers a wide range of neurological symptoms and signs.

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