Bronchiectasis / chronic suppurative lung disease (CSLD)

Red flags

If any of the following are present or suspected, refer the patient to the emergency department (via ambulance if necessary).

  • Bronchiectasis / CSLD with any of the following concerning features:
    • altered consciousness
    • hypoxia (<90% oxygen saturation) when this is not normal for the patient
    • evidence of significant infective exacerbation (fever and/or high volume purulent sputum)
    • new haemoptysis (clots or more than streaks
    • new CXR changes indicative of cavitation, consolidation or pneumonia

Does your patient wish to be referred?

Minimum referral criteria

Does your patient meet the minimum referral criteria?

Category 1

Appointment within 30 days is desirable

  • Chronic bronchiectasis / CSLD with any of the following:
    • recurrent haemoptysis
    • rapidly decreasing exercise tolerance
    • unintentional weight loss

Category 2

Appointment within 90 days is desirable

  • Chronic bronchiectasis / CSLD with frequent (>3 per year) infective exacerbations despite optimal therapy
  • Stable symptomatic chronic bronchiectasis / CSLD

Category 3

Appointment within 365 days is desirable

  • Asymptomatic newly diagnosed or suspected bronchiectasis / CSLD

If your patient does not meet the minimum referral criteria

Consider other treatment pathways or an alternative diagnosis.

If you still need to refer your patient:

  • Please explain why (e.g. warning signs or symptoms, clinical modifiers, uncertain about diagnosis, etc.)
  • Please note that your referral may not be accepted or may be redirected to another service

Other important information for referring practitioners

Not an exhaustive list

  • Refer to HealthPathways for assessment and management information if available
  • Ongoing treatment requires regular and coordinated primary health care and specialist review, including monitoring for complications and comorbidities. Chest physiotherapy and regular exercise should be encouraged, nutrition optimised, environmental pollutants (including tobacco smoke) avoided, and vaccines administered according to national immunisation schedules.

Referral requirements

A referral may be rejected without the following information.

  • History of the disease including duration, severity and frequency of exacerbations
  • Management to date
  • Medications including previously tried medications if associated with treatment failure or problems
  • Results of previous sputum cultures
  • Results of previous chest CT (not during an exacerbation)

Additional referral information (useful for processing the referral)

  • History of childhood respiratory infections (eg Whooping cough)
  • Family history of cystic fibrosis
  • Presence of cor pulmonale or sinus disease
  • FBC, ESR, Immunoglobulins with IgG sub class results
  • CXR
  • Spirometry
  • Impact on employment
  • Impact on education
  • Impact on home
  • Impact on activities of daily living
  • Impact on ability to care for others
  • Impact on personal frailty or safety
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • To establish a diagnosis
  • For treatment or intervention
  • For advice and management
  • For specialist to take over management
  • Reassurance for GP/second opinion
  • For a specified test/investigation the GP can’t order, or the patient can’t afford or access
  • Reassurance for the patient/family
  • For other reason (e.g. rapidly accelerating disease progression)
  • Clinical judgement indicates a referral for specialist review is necessary
  • Presenting symptoms (evolution and duration)
  • Physical findings
  • Details of previous treatment (including systemic and topical medications prescribed) including the course and outcome of the treatment
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Details of any associated medical conditions which may affect the condition or its treatment (e.g. diabetes), noting these must be stable and controlled prior to referral
  • Current medications and dosages
  • Drug allergies
  • Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs use
  • Full name (including aliases)
  • Date of birth
  • Residential and postal address
  • Telephone contact number/s – home, mobile and alternative
  • Medicare number (where eligible)
  • Name of the parent or caregiver (if appropriate)
  • Preferred language and interpreter requirements
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • Full name
  • Full address
  • Contact details – telephone, fax, email
  • Provider number
  • Date of referral
  • Signature
  • Willingness to have surgery (where surgery is a likely intervention)
  • Choice to be treated as a public or private patient
  • Compensable status (e.g. DVA, Work Cover, Motor Vehicle Insurance, etc.)

Send referral

Hotline: 1300 364 938

Fax: 1300 364 952

Electronic: eReferral system

Mail: Metro North Central Patient Intake
Aspley Community Centre
776  Zillmere Road

Health pathways

Access to Health Pathways is free for clinicians in Metro North Brisbane.

For login details email:

Login to Brisbane North Health Pathways: