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Last updated: 30 March, 2020 15:59pm

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Infectious Sore Throat and Tonsillitis – Information for GPs

Referral Criteria / Commissioning position

Referrals for elective surgery will only be funded when:

Recurrent Tonsillitis:

  • Sore throats are due to acute tonsillitis. This should be assessed by evidence of a history of pyrexia, tender anterior cervical lymph nodes and/or tonsillar exudates

AND

  • Episodes of sore throat are disabling and result in prevention of normal functioning (for example time off work or school) resulting in a significantly diminished quality of life

AND

  • Seven or more clinically significant sort throats in the preceding year

OR

  • Five or more such episodes in each of the preceding 2 years

OR

  • Three or more such episodes in each of the preceding 3 years
  • Minimum of 12 months of symptoms

OR

  • Two or more episodes of peritonsillar abscess (quinsy)

AND

  • Had the information leaflet

Peritonsillar abscess (Quinsy) +/- airway obstruction Neck abscess Stridor:

  • Two or more episodes of peritonsillar abscess (quinsy)

AND

  • Had the information leaflet (below)

Investigations prior to referral

None

Information to include in referral letter

The GP referral letter should contain:

  • A clear indication if the referral is for surgery
  • Details of how the patient meets the above criteria
  • Any associated features
  • Treatments tried already and their effects
  • Past medical/surgical history
  • Current regular medication
  • BMI
  • Smoking status
  • Alcohol consumption

Patient information

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