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Mater Epilepsy Unit - public patients

This page contains information about how to refer patients with drug resistant epilepsies to the Mater Epilepsy Unit at Mater Neurosciences Centre Brisbane.

Clinical Lead - Professor Aileen McGonigal

Service Availability:

Catchment criteria may apply for referrals for this service. Patient referrals from outside the Mater SEQ Catchment (which includes Metro South and West Moreton Hospital and Health Services) may not be accepted.
Exception: Mater Neurology Service supports the provision of Advanced Epilepsy services across Queensland. As part of this service, referrals for Advanced Epilepsy management will be accepted statewide.

How to refer:

  • Specialist referrals should be addressed to Prof Aileen McGonigal, Director Mater Epilepsy Unit.
  • Please include past relevant correspondence and investigations including any neurological assessments.
  • Please include the details of where any previous brain imaging studies can be found (QXR, i-Med, Qscan etc).

How to send a referral


Scope of Service

Services out of scope:

  • Referral to this unit is by specialist neurologist referral, with referral criteria as identified in scope below.
  • GP referrals will be accepted in a diagnosis of epilepsy was previously confirmed by a Neurologist and referral criteria are met.


Conditions in Scope:

Focal Epilepsy

  • Defined by seizure symptoms/signs and/or EEG
  • Persistence of seizures despite adequate trial of 2 appropriately chosen anti-seizure medications
  • Has undergone routine neuroimaging
  • No severe untreated psychiatric issues
  • No active substance abuse
  • Has consented to a referral for consideration of epilepsy surgery or advanced interventions e.g. neuromodulation (vagal nerve stimulation, deep brain stimulation), clinical trials enrolment

Generalised epilepsy including epileptic encephalopathy

  • Defined by clinical history and/or EEG
  • Persistence of seizures despite adequate trial of 2 appropriately chosen anti-seizure medications
  • For consideration of advanced interventions (corpus callosotomy, neuromodulation, dietary therapies) 

Other considerations or modifiers (must be included in all referrals)

  • Age
  • Seizure frequency
  • Epilepsy duration
  • Demonstrated good adherence to medical therapy
  • Disease progression - accelerated / recent deterioration
  • Prior treatments including prior surgery
  • Results of prior investigations (EEG, MRI, FDG-PET)
  • Results of prior psychiatry / psychology evaluations

Categorisation Times 

Available appointments are provided to our patients based on clinical priority. A process of categorisation ensures safety and equity of access.

Category 1 – urgent

Clinically recommended timeframe for initial appointment is 30 days

Category 2 - Priority

Clinically recommended timeframe for initial appointment is 90 days

Category 3 - Routine

Clinically recommended for initial appointment is 365 days

No Category 1 criteria

Category applied according to condition and need 

Category applied according to condition and need









Bulk Billed Clinics

Mater Health offers patients the opportunity to attend bulk billed clinics. To provide your patient with the opportunity to attend a bulk billed clinic, please provide a named referral to Prof Aileen McGonigal.

Contact Us:

If you would like to discuss a referral, including clinical criteria, or update the status of a current patient please contact our priority GP phone line on 07 3163 2200

Current Waiting Time for Appointments:

We provide up to date data on how long patients are waiting for their first appointment by specialty here.

Content last reviewed: 13 December 2023

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