Frequently Asked Questions

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The role of the Occupational Health Service is to exercise activities which reflect the declared needs of the University. 

The key needs are:

  • An Occupational Health Service (OHS) which ensures access to qualified and experienced practitioners and can deliver provision to staff and some postgraduate students.
  • A University wide culture and shared approach to Occupational Health which emphasises the prevention of work-related ill-health and links to the broader wellbeing agenda.
  • A commitment to staff wellbeing, safety and health, the prevention of work-related ill-health and early intervention in response to work-related ill-health.  This commitment, needs to be shared and understood by Managers, Human Resources, Health and Safety Services and the Occupational Health Service.
  • Managers feeling confident of their responsibilities in relation to health and to feel supported in their role in the prevention of, and early intervention in accidents and ill-health.
  • An Occupational Health Service which is visible and active in faculties, schools and services and can provide direct support to line managers and specialist support to complement the role of health and safety services.
  • An Occupational Health Service which contributes to the prevention agenda through positions in planning and decision making groups within the University.

There are 3 main reasons for referring someone to Occupational Health.

  • Ill-health review, 
  • Initiate health surveillance, 
  • Following an incident. 

When a referral is made it is not compulsory for the individual to attend if they do not wish to, however it is highly recommended for them to do so. This should be documented.

We do not offer a service for first aid or emergency medical assistance.  

If you or someone else is in need of urgent medical assistance please seek the help of a first aider for the area you are in.  

If there is an emergency please dial 0113 34 32222 to be put through to security who can assist you in contacting and guiding the relevant emergency services to attend your specific location on campus.  

All information disclosed to the Occupational Health department withholds the highest levels of confidentiality.

Records held by Occupational Health can only be accessed by:

  • Staff of the Service.
  • The person to whom the record relates.
  • Any party to whom the individual gives consent for release.
  • The Courts on issuing an Order of Release (rare).

Without your permission the University cannot access your Occupational Health medical records.

More information see Confidentiality of information section and related download of Management of Records sections within the Overview .

Health surveillance includes activities focussed on individual staff members resulting from the risk assessment that essentially:

  1. Assist in the prevention of occupational disease.
  2. Allow the detection of occupational disease as soon as possible.
  3. Additional reasons for health surveillance are:
  4. Checking the effectiveness of control measures.
  5. Providing feedback on the accuracy of risk assessments.
  6. Identifying and protecting individuals at an increased risk due to personal factors.

What needs to be done and by whom is indicated by the risk assessment. Not all health surveillance is done by managers or Occupational Health professionals. What is involved will be determined by the risks identified. Some health surveillance is legally required by Health & Safety legislation. Other surveillance is recommended by the Health & Safety Executive or just good Occupational Health practice.

For more information see Health Surveillance.

If it is identified that there is a particular risk to your health in your work for the University, a risk assessment will be carried out.  If this shows a potential risk you the health surveillance process will be started for your role.  

The level of risk will vary between different role and different individuals, however, some areas are identified as high risk for all.  

For more information see Workplace Risks.

After a prolonged period of absence due to ill-health you will need to attend a return to work interview with your line manager / HR Manager / Occupational Health.  The level of response required will be determined by the reason and duration of your absence.  During this meeting you will put together a plan and follow-up points to ensure that you can continue your role safe and well at the University.  

For more information see Referrals / Guidance for Managers.

If you think work is affecting or may be affecting your health, some action should be taken by yourself.

In the first instance you should raise the matter with your Line Manager or Human Resources Manager. You can also approach your Health & Safety Manager, Health & Safety Officer or Health & Safety Co-ordinator in your area if it is appropriate.

Alternatively, you can consider discussing the matter with your Trade Union. 

For more information see Workplace Risks and Referrals.  

If you are concerned that your work at the University is having an adverse effect on your health or worsening an existing condition, it is important that you report this as soon as possible.  

As with most issues it is advisable to speak with your Line Manager about your concerns to see if there are any suitable actions which could be done to improve the situation.

If you are not able to speak about this issue with your line manager we then suggest that you consider speaking to:

Human Resource Manager for your area, 

Your Trade Union representative.

Your area Health and Safety Manager.

For more information see Referrals.

Yes, you can self-refer by telephoning 0113 34 32997 (ext. 32997) and booking an appointment. 

Advice and guidance will be given but no report will be sent to HR or your manager.  We recommend that if it is a work related issue causing the problems that this will need to be discussed with your line manager or HR manager in order to be able to make improvements to the situation.  

For more information see Referrals.  

Activities undertaken at work can have an impact on health as a result of exposures which may be physical, psychological or a result of materials handled. The University manage risk using risk assessments with its outcome influencing the process of Risk Management. Where the control of risk still leaves a danger to health, your Line Manager, HR Manager or Health and Safety Manager may refer you to the Occupational Health Service for health surveillance.  

For more information see Workplace Risks.

If you feel work is having an adverse impact upon a member of staff's health you should discuss your concern with them in a supportive manner. In addition, especially if not easily resolved, discuss it with your HR Manager to obtain advice and to ensure compliance with University policy and guidance. You may also need to address this concern with the Health and Safety Manager.

If this process does not improve the situation, it is suggested that the employee is referred to the Occupational Health Service.  

For more information see Workplace Risks.