Making a Referral to Occupational Health

The Occupational Health referral process provides independent and impartial advice and guidance to employee's or line manager's to help understand the effects of work on an employees health.

National Services Scotland

Within NSS, the Occupational Health Referral Process can be either a Management Referral or a Self Referral.

A management referral is to understand whether the employees health is having an impact on their work.  It also enables the organisation to support the employee’s health and if required, put adjustments into place to reduce any health impact. 

The self referral option can be exercised by any employee who feels that they would benefit from some independent advice in relation to their health and work.  This is not intended to replace or to be used as a GP service and employees should be aware that the Occupational Health staff cannot prescribe medication nor treat or diagnose conditions.

To find out more about how Occupational Health use Personal Data please refer to the Occupational Health Privacy Statement.

The NSS Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Policy sets out the framework and roles and responsibilities in place across NSS.  In this section you will find further information and guidance on the supporting Occupational Health procedures.

For NSS Occupational Health enquiries please call 0131 275 6360 or email nss.occupationalhealth@nhs.net

NHS 24

Our Occupational Health service is delivered by Greater Glasgow & Clyde Health Board. The service provides specialist advice on how your health can impact on work and how work can impact on your health.

The multidisciplinary team will include an occupational health physician, a specialist occupational health nurse practitioner, a registered nurse, and administration staff, along with a link to a wider range of specialists.

We operate to a strict code of confidentiality and keep occupational health records separate from all other NHS records. Employee health and wellbeing is key to the delivery of our patient focused service.

To make a referral, please see the documents below.

Benefits of the service

Key benefits of our occupational health service:

  • It has been tailored to recognise the specific needs of our staff and the unique service NHS 24 provides. 
  •  The service operates to a strict code of confidentiality and keeps occupational health records separate from all other NHS records.
  • It directs control of how the service is managed to enable us to ensure that the highest standard of service is provided.
  • It is led by professionals working within the NHSScotland Occupational Health and Safety Standards and who understand working practices within the NHS.
  • It has been designed around the most modern models of occupational health service provision.
  • It has moved our provision away from a private sector to a Health Board solution, which is considered best practice within public sector organisations.

NHS Golden Jubilee

The Occupational Health Department provides a confidential service offering advice on the physical, mental and social wellbeing of all staff within NHS Golden Jubilee.  Occupational Health services can be accessed in two ways:

  1. Management/Sickness Absence Referral.  There is a link to the manager’s guide below, which contains further information on referring to/accessing Occupational Health services; or
  2. Self Referral.  To self-refer to the Occupational Health Department to discuss any concerns you may have you should contact 0141 951 5435 to arrange a suitable appointment with one of the nurses.

Public Health Scotland

Public Health Scotland content is being designed for this page, in the interim please refer to the National Services Scotland Tab for support.  Alternatively, you can contact the team by emailing  nss.occupationalhealth@nhs.net or by phoning 0131 275 6360.

Scottish Ambulance Service

Within Scottish Ambulance Service the Occupational Health Referral Process can be in either a Management Referral or a Self Referral.

A management referral is to understand whether the employees health is having an impact on their work. It also enables the organisation to support the employee’s health and if required, put adjustments into place to reduce any health impact. 

The self referral option can be exercised by any employee who feels that they would benefit from some independent advice in relation to their health and work.  This is not intended to replace or to be used as a GP service and employees should be aware that the Occupational Health staff cannot prescribe medication nor treat or diagnose conditions.

The State Hospital

Line managers can refer employees to the Occupational Health Service in order to provide assistance to an employee with regard to their health in relation to work, and/or to enable the Occupational Health Service to provide the line manager with advice about the employee’s health in relation to their work.

Line managers should automatically make a referral to the Occupational Health Service once the employee is absent for 28 days or more (long term sick).  A referral should be initiated earlier than 28 days when it is known from the outset that a member of staff will be absent on a long term basis, or if it is considered that an early OH assessment would be of benefit for other reasons.

The employee should be informed of their management referral in advance and, if possible, the referral should be discussed with the employee prior to submission to OH.  It is essential that such a referral is not portrayed as a punishment, and that the reasons for it are fully explained to the employee.  The manager should fully inform the employee of the contents and the purpose of the OH referral, as well as the specific questions asked of OH.  The management referral proforma is a formal document requesting a specialist OH Physician/Nurse to assess the employee.

At least three employee identifiers should be recorded on the proforma including the employee’s formal name, date of birth and either their job title or their area/department. For security reasons the employee’s address should not be documented. However, the manager should advise the employee to inform HR/OH of any temporary or permanent change of address.  The reason for referral, including the relevant background information, should be clearly set out in the referral proforma (available from the intranet) along with any specific issues about which the line manager wishes to receive advice. The manager should tick the specific questions on the proforma that they wish OH to answer.

In general, the types of issues about which questions might be asked include:

• whether there is an underlying medical problem/condition, which could affect work performance;

• the prognosis and likely effect on fitness for work; restrictions to, or adaptations needed for, work;

• recommendations for rehabilitation into work and ill-health retirement issues, if relevant

Please see below Management Referral Proforma.

Employees can also self-refer to OH at any time by calling 01555 842121.