Guidance for Employees

While we are unable to conduct appointments over the phone, we can speak to you over the phone or on Teams. If you are struggling with work, either because of a physical or mental health issue, please contact your manager who will arrange for a referral to be made on your behalf.

If your manager is initiating the referral for you then the reason for your referral to Occupational Health (OH) will be explained to you by your manager.  If this has not happened, please contact your manager to discuss the referral.

A referral form will be completed, which will provide OH with some information about your job, recent sickness absence if relevant, and the concerns your manager has about you. The referral will ask specific questions regarding your health and wellbeing. The answers to these questions will help your manager to make appropriate decisions to support you at work. You will be shown the completed form and the contents will be discussed with you. You will be asked to sign the referral form and be given a copy before it is sent to OH.  If you are absent from work your manager will send you a copy for you to sign and return. This will act as confirmation that the referral has been discussed with you and you have agreed to attend an appointment with an Occupational Health Adviser or Disability Adviser (OHA/DA).

OH will send you an appointment, normally within 5 working days of the referral being received.  If you are unable to attend the appointment offered please contact the Occupational Health Service as soon as possible to reschedule.

The OH/Disability Adviser will need to gather sufficient information to enable them to write an accurate, objective and useful opinion on your fitness to work. This assessment will also give you an opportunity to talk, in confidence, about any concerns you might have regarding your health at work, with an experienced OH professional.

Your assessment will normally generate an OH report, which will be sent to your manager, HR and you.  OH reports are designed to offer an objective and expert opinion regarding fitness for work.  These reports also suggest what might make it easier for you to carry out your duties successfully, despite your health problem or disability.  Information in the OH report is advisory only.  It is for your manager to decide whether they can support or accommodate any suggested adjustments.

Occupational Health and Disability Advisers are registered practitioners and therefore work within the legal framework of the Data Protection Act, and adhere to the standards set down in the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s and other relevant bodies’ code of conduct.  OH/Disability Advisers will not share any information about you with a third party without your informed consent. The proposed content of any OH report written about you will be discussed with you at the end of your appointment. You will be given some options for seeing your report when it has been written and before it is sent to the person making the referral. Your consent is required for the OH/Disability Adviser to send the report to your manager. The report will normally be sent to you by email.  You will be given 48 hours to approve the report and provide your consent to it being sent.  If you do not agree to the report being released your manager will need to make decisions without the benefit of Occupational Health advice or opinion.

Guidance for managers

Managers may refer employees to Occupational Health (OH) for advice on a range of problems or difficulties which are or may be affecting an employee’s ability to work effectively and/or efficiently. If you are a manager have a look at our Managers' Guidance.