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Occupational health

Our occupational health service seeks to promote and maintain the health and wellbeing of all our employees.

The team provide independent and impartial advice to managers and employees, including:

  • support with all matters of work-related health and sickness absence
  • support with the recovery and return to work process after illness and injury
  • specialist advice and support on physical, mental and social wellbeing, working closely with our Live Well Work Well team
  • matters relating to ill-health and early ill-health retirement
  • management and implementation of an effective health surveillance programme.

All clinical provision is currently provided by North Yorkshire County Council's occupational health service, through a team of professionally qualified nurses and experienced administration staff.

Managers and employees should remember the primary care provider is the NHS, occupational health should only become involved when a health issue affects an individual's ability to attend work or carry out their role. The referrals section provides some examples of when a referral to occupational health may be appropriate.

If you have any general enquiries which do not relate to a referral, please either:

Referrals

Referrals to occupational health can only made by line managers. If you think you require a referral, please discuss this with a member of your line management team, usually your immediate line manager in the first instance, if possible.

When to make a referral - manager guidance

As a manager, you should consider making a referral to occupational health if any of the following apply:

  • you feel health is affecting an employee's ability to work, their attendance or performance and this cannot be resolved through normal line management
  • the employee is off work with mental health issues or stress and an individual stress risk assessment has been carried out
  • the case is complicated and you feel you need medical information to make a decision
  • you have received a fit note where the GP recommends an occupational health assessment
  • work may be a contributory factor affecting an employee's health and an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out
  • there has been a work-related injury or accident
  • you need to progress ill health retirement where required by pensions procedures
  • you feel you have discussed the issue with the employee and introduced adjustments, but no improvement in attendance or progress has been made and you feel you require specialist input to resolve issues.

Making a referral

Your line manager needs to complete the occupational health referral online form. We use the North Yorkshire County Council occupational health portal for referrals.

How to make a management referral

Step 2 - Sign up for an account

Select the sign up now option and fill in the details to create an account. Add M50082A3 in the company reference field. This is a specific code for East Riding managers.

Step 3 - Verify your account

A verification email will be sent to the email address you have provided. Select the link in the email to verify your account.

Step 4 - Ask your employee to register

Please ask the employee to self-register using steps 1 to 3 of the employee registration guidance below. This will allow them to access the manager referral that has been submitted and the advice report provided by occupational health.

Please note: if the employee doesn't have internet access, their manager will support them to set up their online account.

Step 5 - Complete the referral form

After logging in to the portal, select the green Create new online form button to start a referral. You will have the opportunity to add any relevant documents.

Support

If you need any further support using the occupational health portal:

Employee registration

You need to set up an account so that you can access the manager referral and the advice report provided by occupational health.

Step 2 - Sign up for an account

Select the sign up now option and fill in the details to create an account. Add M5007CCA in the company reference field. This is a specific code for our employees.

Step 3 - Verify your account

A verification email will be sent to the email address you have provided. Select the link in the email to verify your account.

Support

If you need any further support using the occupational health portal:

What happens next

The form will then be reviewed by the occupational health team and they will provide a management referral report.

You will receive an email when a response has been provided and the report can be accessed by:

  • logging into your account
  • selecting the Reports tab
  • selecting Management referral report (manager referral) from the Current report dropdown list.

The report will identify that either:

  • no intervention is needed
  • an occupational health appointment is required.

If further actions are required, you or your line manager can speak to your nominated HR officer. If you are not sure who this is email the HR helpdesk.

Your appointment

Arranging the appointment

The occupational health team will use the portal to automatically arrange an appointment for you, if required. You will receive an email asking you to access the portal to view the details of the appointment you have been offered. This is likely to be a telephone appointment initially.

Unable to attend your appointment?

If you are unable to attend your appointment, please either:

What to provide at your appointment

You will need to provide:

  • a list of any medication you are taking
  • details of any specialist appointments you have
  • any reports you have received from specialists.
During the appointment

A nurse will assess your health and consider how it could affect your ability to do the duties required in your post. You will have the opportunity to discuss any health problems you have and any concerns you may have about your current health impacting your work. The nurse will also consider any adaptations and adjustments that may be required.

Your appointment will last up to 1 hour.

After the appointment

Following your appointment, a written report will be sent to you and your line manager via the portal. You'll also be emailed to notify you when the report is available. You should receive this within 7 working days of the appointment, but this can be longer in more complex cases. This will advise you and your line manager of the next steps required.

Other support

Physiotherapy

If you or one of your employees are seeking physiotherapy, there are a couple of options available via the NHS without visiting your GP or the occupational health service.

Healthshare Hull

You may be able to refer yourself for physiotherapy without visiting your GP if you are:

  • aged 18 or over
  • registered with a Hull GP.

Healthshare will arrange a telephone assessment with a physiotherapist to discuss the best treatment for you.

Visit the Healthshare Hull website

You can also telephone 01482 300 003 for advice or support to arrange an assessment.

Your Physio

You can refer yourself for physiotherapy without visiting your GP if you are:

  • aged 18 or over
  • registered with an East Riding GP.

The physiotherapist will advise you about your problem or offer a face-to-face assessment at the clinic of your choice.

Visit the NHS Your Physio website

You can also telephone 01377 208 300 for further advice and support or to arrange an assessment.

Counselling

If you, as an employee, seek a management referral for counselling, your manager must consider the following steps with you before deciding whether a referral is required:

Step 1 - Assessment

Have you seen your primary carer, such as a GP, and had an appropriate assessment? If not, your manager should direct you to your GP in the first instance.

Step 2 - Discuss the request

Your manager should discuss with you the reasons why you have requested counselling. If it is work related, a health needs assessment should be completed. The assessment will identify what the work issues are, and your manager will explore with you any potential solutions to resolve or reduce them.

Health needs assessment form

Step 3 - Employee assistance programme

Your manager should advise you about our employee assistance programme. This provides a 24/7 counselling and advice helpline, with fully qualified counsellors and support specialists, offering confidential support for you and your family on a range of emotional, personal and work-related issues. Call 0330 380 0658 anytime for advice. You can also access up to 6 structured 30-minute telephone counselling sessions.

Our partner Vivup provide a variety of online help, through audio and PDF self-help workbooks covering a range of topics, support to deal with debt and a free downloadable app called MyMindPal.

Visit the Vivup website

Step 4 - Self-referral

Hull

You'll be asked by your manager whether you are registered with a Hull GP. If so, you can refer yourself to Let's Talk who can assess your call and arrange free counselling with an appropriate provider.

Visit the Let's Talk website

You can also telephone 01482 247 111.

East Riding

You'll be asked by your manager whether you are registered with an East Riding GP. If so, you can refer yourself to NHS Emotional Wellbeing Service for free counselling.

Visit the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies patient portal

You can also telephone 01482 335 451.

Outside of Hull and the East Riding

As this is a self-referral, if you live outside of Hull and the East Riding you can check what services are available in your area.

Visit the NHS Psychological Therapies service website

Where managers require further support in assisting employees to access appropriate counselling, they should seek advice from their HR officer.

Step 5 - Recent bereavement

Have you had a recent bereavement? If so, you will be going through the normal grieving process. Even though this can be hard, counselling in the early stages might not be appropriate but having someone to talk to is helpful. Everyone is different in terms of how they deal with death and how long it can take.

You can access external support from Cruse, who provide free confidential support for adults and children by telephone, face-to-face or email. Cruse has a Hull and East Riding branch.

Visit the Cruse bereavement support website

You can also telephone 0808 808 1677 for free for support.

Step 6 - Occupational health referral

If your manager has concerns after following this process, in relation to your fitness to work due to your condition or the effects of the condition on you, they can in consultation with you, refer you to the occupational health service for support.

Your occupational health records

Storage

Your occupational health records are confidential and are protected by UK Data Protection Laws.

Occupational Health Services have a retention schedule in place to make sure that information is only held for as long as it is needed. We will not keep your information for longer than is required by law.

Your information will be disposed of in a controlled and secure manner in accordance with our records management and data quality policy. Our IT security and confidentiality policies make sure that your information is protected and accessed only by staff directly involved in your case.

To find out more about how long your information will be held visit our data retention page on the corporate website.

Request a copy

You are entitled to a copy of your occupational health records or information about yourself, otherwise called a Subject Access Request (SAR). You are not entitled to confidential information relating to someone else, for example where another individual has not provided consent to release their personal information to you.

You can get a copy of your records by simply asking an occupational health nurse who will pass your request on to the information governance and feedback team to be logged.

Alternatively, a SAR form is available below to assist anyone making a request. To speed up the process we suggest you use this form.

Subject Access Request form

Submit the above form or make a clear request by:

We may ask for proof of your identity before we can process your request. If this happens, we normally ask for two forms of identification.

Please make sure, however you make your request, you make it clear what information you are asking for.

The request will be free of charge. However, we can charge a 'reasonable fee' if your request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if it is repetitive. You may also be charged a reasonable fee for further copies of the same information.

Information will be provided within one month (the council aims to respond within 28 days) of receipt of the request. The 28-day period will be paused if we require further information to validate your request.

Can someone else request a copy of my records?

Yes, there might be a reason that someone acting on your behalf, such as your solicitor, will want a copy of your records. This could be due to a dispute between you and your employer. In this case your solicitor would need to provide confirmation they are acting on your behalf by providing your consent to share your personal information with them. The request must be official and state the specific reason they are requesting your records. It should be made by:

Questions or concerns

If you have any questions or concerns about your records, how they are processed, stored, or accessed contact the information governance team using the details below.

If you would like to know more about how the council uses your information, what your rights are, or have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, we request that you raise your concerns with us in the first instance. The contact details are available on our privacy notice page on the corporate website. Alternatively, you can:

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