Occupational Health Review

Advice for referred employees and FAQs

The Occupational Health Unit is an advisory service whose role is to provide impartial advice regarding fitness for work to line managers responsible for the monitoring and control of sickness absence, and staff.  The OH clinical staff are all trained health professionals and are governed by the same moral, professional and ethical codes of conduct to which all medical and nursing professionals have to adhere.  Confidentiality is fundamental.

Please be assured that your best interests and wellbeing are of primary concern to all of us in the OHU.  Therefore we will try to make your visit to the department as straightforward and comfortable as possible.

This advice is aimed at assisting employees to regain and retain their good health and return to a suitable job as soon as their recovery allows. It is part of the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Department.


Access to Occupational Health Premises
Access to the Occupational Health Unit is via several stairs and there are no ground floor toilet facilities.  Please contact Occupational Health to discuss if you have any mobility problems and we will arrange an alternative, suitable venue.

Why have I been referred?
The University sickness absence procedure requires managers to refer staff experiencing prolonged or frequent sickness absence normally after 20 days absence (or occasionally sooner if it is felt this would help the employee). Your manager should have discussed the purpose of the referral with you before contacting Occupational Health. Normally an appointment should lead to advice for the individual and their manager regarding the likely duration of sickness absence, the possible impact of your ill health on your work, and suggest rehabilitation approaches for return to work or reasonable adjustments to enable people to remain at work where appropriate.

What will happen when I arrive for my appointment?

The Occupational Health Adviser (OHA) will introduce him or herself to you and explain the purpose of the assessment.They will discuss your current condition, your past health and its effects on your activities.

What will be said in the letter to managers?

The answers to the questions asked  by your manager  will be discussed with you in detail by the OHA. In general this may include likely duration of sickness absence, the day-to-day effect of any permanent or short-term disability and subsequent advice on restrictions to normal duties, which may enable an earlier return to work and rehabilitation.

Who will see my Occupational Health records?

The standards of confidentiality for records held by your general practitioner or any hospital specialist you may have seen also apply to occupational health records. Consequently, neither your manager nor HR staff has access to your records. Details of your records will only be released at your request or, in exceptional circumstances, as a legal or ethical requirement.

Can I have a copy of the letter from Occupational Health to my manager?

This can sent to you if you request it in writing or at your appointment. Your line manager will be notified that you have been provided with a copy.

Will Occupational Health write to my general practitioner/hospital specialist for information?

If the OHA thinks a report would be useful, the reasons for this will be discussed with you and a request made only with your informed written consent. Your right to read any such report will be explained to you at this time.

What if I have already returned to work or my general practitioner has given me a date to return within the next few days?

Contact your manager to discuss any ongoing need for an OH appointment.

What if I do not feel able to attend an appointment in OH?

If you feel unable to undergo the assessment you should inform your manager. Without the benefit of guidance from the OH your managers may make decisions regarding your ongoing employment based on the information available to them. Alternatively the OHA will discuss any concerns you may have about the appointment on the day but will not proceed further without your consent.

What if I cannot make this particular appointment date?

If you are unable to attend please inform your manager as early as possible in order that the appointment may be offered to another person.