Occupational health (OH) is concerned with your health, safety and wellbeing while at work including the effects of work on your health and making sure you are fit for the work you do.
Our specialist OH team plays a significant role in protecting you from work related ill health and supporting you with health issues, by offering competent and professional advice.
We can offer specialist advice and support in a variety of areas such as:
- Employment health screening to determine fitness for the proposed role and any adaptations that may be required to facilitate working
- Vaccination services
- Health surveillance programmes
- Help with health related risk assessments
- Health promotion
- Assessments on fitness to work following sickness absence to include rehabilitation programs where indicated
- Assessments on fitness to work because of concerns about health at work
- Advice and support with work related health issues or incidents
Occupational health does not provide primary care services and you therefore need to contact your General Practitioner (GP) for medical advice and treatment for your general health concerns.
How to use this service
Your manager will refer you if there are any concerns about your health in relation to your work or about your fitness to work (with your consent). You will be assessed by a qualified OH nurse or doctor who has knowledge of the workplace, following the assessment a report offering professional and competent advice will be written and with your consent will be released to your manager/HR. Occupational Health assessments may be carried out by telephone or face to face.
To contact the OH service, please call 01273 443757 or email Nuffieldteam@healthpartners.uk.com
Links and Documents
- How to make an online Management Referral
- How to instigate a Pre-Placement Health Questionnaire
- How to instigate a COVID risk assessment
- Manager Guide to Submitting a Management Referral Following a BBV-BFE Incident
If I am worried about my health in relation to my work, how can the Occupational Health team help me?
The Occupation Health (OH) team can offer support and specialist advice in a variety of areas including:
- Assessing your health before you start work with the company or if you change roles during your employment.
- Helping protect you from infectious diseases or other agents that you may be exposed to at work through vaccination or screening programmes.
- Assessing health following significant workplace accidents such as inoculation injuries
- Assessing fitness to work following illness and advising on rehabilitation programmes to facilitate a return to work where indicated
- Providing advice concerning managing stress
- Advising on adaptations required to help with disability at work
- Provide access to counseling services through the Employee Assistance Programme
Why would my manager refer me to Occupational Health?
Your manager may refer you to the occupational health team because of concerns around your health and work. For example if you have had several episodes of sickness absence over a period of a few months, or because you are currently off sick or you may be at work but either you or your manager has concerns about your fitness for aspects of you role.
What happens at an Occupational Health Appointment?
You will meet with a qualified OH nurse, who is a registered nurse with additional specialist qualifications in Occupational Health. The nurse will discuss your current health and treatment with you and assess the impact this is having on your ability to do your job.
A key role of the OH nurse is to assess your fitness for work, when you may be fit enough to return to work and if any adaptations are needed to help you in work. Sometimes following a serious illness or because of limitations caused by the nature of the health problem, a rehabilitation plan can be developed with a phased reintroduction to work or changes to duties to help you to work. Any plan has to be discussed and agreed with your manager.
Mostly decisions about your fitness to work can be made at the time of the appointment but occasionally the OH nurse may ask your permission to liaise with your treating doctors if further information is needed or may occasionally ask you to see an OH doctor if more specialist input is required.
In some circumstances you may not be deemed fit to return to work and/or a return to work date cannot be foreseen. In these circumstances your continued employment may be at risk. If this situation arises, you will be advised on any appropriate next steps by your Line Manager/HR Manager.
Isn’t my GP responsible for signing me fit to return to work?
Your GP is responsible for your treatment and medical care. GPs are not usually in a position to know what support can be given in the workplace to help their patients to return to work. It is generally accepted that an individual does not have to be fully fit to return to work and the change in the sickness certification process moving away from sick notes to fit notes supports this approach. If you feel well enough and in agreement with your manager and OH, you may return to work before the estimated date given by your doctor on a fit note.
What does Occupational Health report back to my Manager?
OH personnel are bound by professional codes relating to medical confidentiality. This means that your health is not discussed with your manager without your permission. The OH nurse will discuss the information that she intends to share with your manager at the appointment.
You can withdraw your consent for the report to be sent, but you need to be aware that Managers will then make decisions about your ability to work and/or your ability to return to work without the benefit of occupational health advice and/or medical information.
If you have any questions relating to the protection or processing of your personal data by Health Partners going forward, please see their guide for employees.