OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE
Queen’s University Occupational Health Service is an independent, confidential health service provided by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (BHSCT). Based at 5 Lennoxvale, opening hours are Monday – Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm. The service does not operate during the University’s holiday periods.
Comprised of a specialised team of nurses and physicians providing independent advice to employers and employees concerning the impact of health on work, services provided include: assessing and advising on fitness for work; managing health surveillance programmes; work-related immunisations, and work-related travel advice/vaccinations.
The Occupational Health Service is SEQOHS accredited, which means it has been assessed and inspected by the Faculty of Occupational Health Medicine and found to be a ‘safe and effective quality Occupational Health Service.’
If you have any health issues which you feel are affecting your work, please discuss with your line manager, who will refer you to Occupational Health for support and advice. If you feel you are not able to discuss the issues with your line manager, you should approach your Human Resources Business Partner for your area who will refer you to Occupational Health for support.
Opening hours: Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm (excluding Queen’s holiday periods)
Telephone number: 028 9097 5520 (ext 5520)
Email address: email@example.com
BHSCT SERVICE PRINCIPLES
- We provide an advisory service to the University, promoting the health, safety, and well-being of staff and students.
- We conform to standards of clinical confidentiality, acting with integrity to provide an independent service. Service users have a right to expect that no personal or medical information will be shared or disclosed unless their consent is obtained to do so.
- Occupational health records are classified as medical records for which professional guidance and legislation exists; including the General Data Protection Regulation 2018, The Access to Health Records Act 1990 and The Medical Reports Act 1998; which requires the University to ensure that Occupational Health records are only accessible by Occupational Health staff. Confidential occupational health records are kept securely and are accessed only by the occupational health staff
- Our role is not to take over the function of the General Practitioner or other Health Services, which are provided for the community at large.
- Our advisory role does not diminish the responsibility of all managers for the welfare, counselling, guidance, discipline and safety of their staff and students. Nor does it diminish the responsibility of the individual to look after, and be responsible, for their own health and safety.
- Staff may be referred by management to the Occupational Health Service at any time during their employment.
Staff with health concerns that affects their work may be referred to the Occupational Health Service. Conversely, if work is affecting a member of staff’s health, they may be referred. Staff can be referred by their manager via Human Resources Business Partner or they can contact their Human Resources Business Partner directly if appropriate.
CONSENT AND CONFIDENTIALITY
In line with the General Medical Council, guidance and ethical standards of practice, prior to the report being issued, the individual will be offered the opportunity to view a draft copy of the report. consent will be obtained to release the report. If the individual feels that the report contains factually incorrect information this should be highlighted to the OH clinician for appropriate alterations or corrections to be made. The individual cannot insist upon the OH clinician’s opinion being altered. OH records are maintained to the same high standard of confidentiality as hospital or GP medical records, and in accordance with Data Protection. An individual’s OH record will not be disclosed to anyone else outside OH without the individual’s written consent.
A huge number of appointments are wasted each year simply because they are missed. Please make sure that you keep, rearrange or cancel your appointment - the earlier that you cancel the better. If you have no other choice but to cancel your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible.
PRE-EMPLOYMENT HEALTH ASSESSMENTS
To ensure the University is meeting its obligations under health and safety and equality legislation, pre-employment health assessments are required for all new staff. A review of the medical information is required to:
- assesses whether an individual’s health is compatible with the role/programme which they have been offered
- ensure an applicant’s health will not be affected by the job role
- assess where a pre-existing medical condition could be aggravated by their required work activities
- to provide appropriate health advice and guidance.
- advise on adjustments required to accommodate relevant disability
All new staff receive a health questionnaire from Human Resources as part of the on-boarding process, which they are required to complete and return to the Occupational Health Service. The information supplied on the health questionnaire will be assessed and will remain confidential. A fitness report will be provided to Human Resources. Occupational Health may need further information prior to confirming fitness, depending on the nature of the proposed work, new staff may be asked to attend Occupational Health for further assessment or health surveillance.
In order to meet the University’s legal obligations, depending on the type of work, we will monitor the health of staff. The objectives of health surveillance are:
- To protect the health of individuals by detecting diseases or adverse health effects which may be work-related, e.g. exposure to hazardous substances, including biological agents, and physical agents.
- To assist in evaluating the effectiveness of existing risk management control measures.
- To obtain and retain data and information for determining and evaluating risks to health.
Health Surveillance involves assessments designed to detect health effects from occupational hazards. Some assessments can be carried out by questionnaire. Examples of hazards requiring Health Surveillance:
- Substances which can cause asthma
- Substances which can cause dermatitis
- Very noisy workplaces
- Some vibrating tools
New staff will be included in health surveillance programmes where their risk assessments indicates exposure risk to their health from work.
After a carefully conducted, suitable and sufficient COSHH risk assessment the manager/safety officer should inform Occupational Health of the potential need for health surveillance.
Managers/Principle Investigators/schools safety officers are responsible for identifying those staff who may require immunisation based upon appropriate risk assessments for the work to be undertaken. Risk assessments for the following work should consider the need for vaccination:
- Culturing or handling of human pathogens or purified biological toxins
- Handling or processing of human blood, serum or tissue specimens
- Contact with patients or work in clinical areas of hospitals (Research Passports)
Managers/Principle Investigators/school safety officers should ensure staff are informed of the need for vaccination, and should forward the risk assessment to Occupational Health, who will make the appropriate arrangements.
The Occupational Health Service can advise on travel health and vaccinations, as well as advice regarding pre-existing health problems. When the travel is not essential for University business, advice should be sought from a private provider. It is important to contact the Occupational Health Service as soon as possible about any travel arrangements to ensure vaccinations can be given in a timely manner.
NHS SERVICES & EMERGENCIES
The Occupational Health Service does not provide primary care. All University staff and students are advised to register with a GP close to where they live (in the UK), the HSC Service Finder website will provide a list of GPs, dentists and other NHS services.
In the case of a serious medical emergency, where someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, always call 999 for an ambulance. Then call University Security (2222) immediately so that they may assist in the ambulance getting to you. If the situation is not life-threatening then we would urge you to do one of the following:
- Contact your GP
- Visit a local Minor Injury Unit
- Visit your local A&E Department
The Occupational Health Service supports the Staff Wellbeing team with advice and guidance. Please check the Wellbeing website for more information.
Q. What are your opening times?
A. General opening hours are Monday – Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm, and the service will not operate during the university’s holiday periods.
Q. Where are you located?
A. We are located at 5 Lennoxvale, please see Campus Plan for more information.
Q. How do I refer myself, a student or a colleague?
A. Please see our referral pages for details on how to refer.
Q. How do I get an appointment to return to work after a period of absence?
A. For a return to work appointment you must be referred to us by your line manager or Human Resources Business Partner, so please contact them.
Q. Due to the nature of my role I require Hepatitis B vaccination, what do I do?
A. Managers/Principle Investigators/school safety officers should forward the risk assessment to Occupational Health, who will make the appropriate arrangements.
Q. Where do I get a MMR/Meningitis C vaccine?
A. You should see your GP unless it is a requirement for your work or studies.
Q. Can I see a GP here?
A. No, sorry we are not able to help as we are not a primary care service. See our NHS Services page for future guidance.
Q. Is your service confidential?
A. Yes. We are bound by strict rules regarding confidentiality and clinical information will only be shared with your informed consent. For more information see the University's Data Protection page.
Q. How do I get an eye test (for DSE users)?
A. Display Screen Equipment (DSE) assessment is managed by Safety Services, please see Computer Workstations for more information.
Q. Can I have counselling here?
A. No. If you require counselling, you should contact the Counselling Service.
Q. Can I have access to my Occupational Health records?
A. Yes, staff can have access to their own medical record through a written request under the Data Protection Act. These details can only be released to third parties, such as a solicitor, on receipt of the informed written consent of the employee, or by a court order.
Q. What do I do if I have a needlestick/sharps injury?
A. Please see our needlestick/sharps injury guidance page. To obtain urgent advice, please Contact Us between 9AM and 5PM Monday to Friday.
Q. Where can I see a first aider?
A. First Aid is managed by Safety Services, please click here to find your First Aider.