Occupational Health Services: A Guide for Employees

Introduction to Occupational Health Services  

This page contains important information about your referral to Collingwood Health Occupational Health Services, please ensure you read all of the information carefully. 

  • If you have any questions regarding occupational health, please contact our Referrals team on 01753 781652 or discuss with your occupational health clinician at your consultation prior to discussing any other matters.  
  • When attending your appointment, you must bring; 
    • Your appointment confirmation, either printed or on a phone/tablet.  
    • A list of the medication you are taking. 
    • Your glasses and/or contact lenses if worn. 
    • Any additional information you feel may be helpful.  
  • Please advise Collingwood Health as soon as possible if you are unable to attend your appointment; please note there will be a charge to your employer for late cancellation, late attendance or non-attended appointments.  
  • It is unlikely to be in your best interest for you to not keep your appointment as your manager/HR will not have the benefit of occupational health advice when making decisions about you.  
  • Your employer has referred you to Collingwood Health for an occupational health consultation of your fitness for work. The reason for referral should have been clearly explained to you. Please read the following notes carefully, if you are happy that you understand the notes and the purpose and scope of the consultation then please complete, sign and date the enclosed consent form. This should be returned to Collingwood Health alongside your referral. 
  • If the reason for referral has not been clearly explained to you, please discuss this with your line manager or HR representative prior to attending your appointment.  
  • Please do not complete the section titled “Consent for Release of Report” until after your consultation has been completed, this will be made available to you at your consultation.  

The Role of Collingwood Health Occupational Health Services 

  • Collingwood Health is an independent advisory service whose role is to provide impartial advice to employers and employees about the management of health conditions at work.  
  • The advice is given by an Occupational Health Practitioner, i.e. an Occupational Health Physician (OHP) or and Occupational Health Nurse Advisor (OHA/OHN). These clinicians have completed additional training to allow them to practice occupational health medicine and as such are specialised clinicians.  
  • The advice given is aimed at assisting employees to keep or regain their good health and to remain at work or return to suitable role as soon as their recovery allows.  
  • Your consultation with the clinician is likely to last up to one hour.  
  • If your consultation requires a physical examination, further tests or additional information (e.g. from a GP or specialist) you will be asked for your consent at the time of the consultation.  
  • Occupational Health Services offer advice, but it is up to the individual employer and/or employee whether that advice is followed. Occupational health clinicians cannot know for certain what the consequences of their advice will be, but the range of likely consequences will be discussed with you before asking for your consent to send a report to your referrer.  

Referral to Collingwood Health  

  • Your manager/HR has referred you to Collingwood Health for advice about managing your health condition at work. 
  • The specific reasons for referral should have been discussed with you and the referral form provided to you by your manager/HR.  
  • If you are not sure why you have been referred for a consultation, then you must contact your manager/HR for clarification before attending your consultation.  
  • An occupational health consultation allows you the opportunity to discuss your health with an Occupational Health Clinician who will assess how your medical problem(s) may affect, or be affected by, your work.  
  • The Occupational Health Clinician will look at all the circumstances and provide you and your employer with independent, impartial advice about your health and fitness to work.  
  • In order to give you and your manager the best advice, the clinician needs you to be as accurate and complete as you can about your health condition(s); however this does not mean that you have to tell the clinician anything that you wish to keep private from them.  
  • Once your referral and consent for referral has been received your case will be assigned to our triage team who will recommend the most appropriate appointment type. 
  • The Referrals Team will manage the arrangements for your consultation; please note that the Referrals team will attempt to contact you on two separate occasions to arrange an appointment, if they are unable to do so, they will contact your referring manager/HR representative.  
  • On occasion it may be necessary for Collingwood Health to arrange a face to face consultation with one of our associate clinicians, please note that we have strict Data Protection processes in place with our approved associates and will not disclose any personal data until such a time as your agreement has been given for a consultation with an external clinic, e.g. once the appointment is confirmed.  

The Occupational Health Report 

  • Following your assessment, the clinician will compile a report about your fitness for work to be provided to your referring manager/HR representative.  
  • An occupational health report may include advice on; 
    • The likely duration of sickness absence. 
    • The day to day effect of any short term or permanent disability including the impact on your ability to attend work (both now and in the future) and to do your job to the required standard.  
    • Restrictions to normal duties which may enable an earlier return to work. 
    • Adjustments in the workplace or to duties to allow a return to work and to comply with The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 where applicable.  
    • Rehabilitation.  
  • The Occupational Health Professional completing a report is obliged to include all information relevant to the reason(s) for the referral.  
  • It may be necessary to include a minimum of medical detail to make the report understandable.  
  • You will be clearly advised about which medical details need to be included and your agreement to include them will be sought by the Occupational Health Professional.  
  • You must discuss any concerns regarding the disclosure of medical information with the Occupational Health Clinician at the time of the consultation.  
  • Disclosing of a disability to your employer is usually in your interests as your employer is not obliged to make adjustments for a disability that you may have unless they are aware of it.  
  • If you withhold relevant facts from the clinician during your consultation, whether deliberately or by oversight, which you or your employer would then like considered, an additional fee for further consultation and/or review will be required for the clinician’s time.  
  • You will be informed of the new advice before it is sent to management and your consent will be obtained for the new report to be disclosed to your referring manager/HR representative.  
  • Before informing a third party such as the Health and Safety Executive, a GP, a Specialist or any other practitioner looking after you of any aspect of your assessment, your consent will be sought.  
  • Before the report is sent you will be asked to complete the “Consent for Release of Report” section in the enclosed document which provides you with the following three options; 
    • Consent A; the report will be released to you and your referring manager/HR representative at the same time.  
    • Consent B; the report will be sent to you prior to your referring manager/HR representative. Please note that, from the date the report is sent by Collingwood Health, you will have 2 days to review the report if received via email and 5 days to review if received via post.  
    • Consent C; withhold consent for the release of the occupational health report.  
  • If you wish to review your report prior to release to your referring manager/HR representative, please note that the clinician is obliged to provide a report which includes all information relevant to the referral without undue delay. Therefore, the following conditions will apply; 
    • If you have not responded with amendments or to withdraw consent within 2 working days of the report being sent by email or 5 working days of the report being sent via post the report will be released to your referring manager/HR representative. 
    • We cannot extend the time which we provide you for report review therefore, if you ask us to extend the time given to review the report we will release the report as per the original email/ we will advise your referring manager/HR representative that you have withdrawn consent for release of the report. 
    • Amendment requests will only be accepted for factual changes, e.g. the date of an appointment the treatment/tests you are currently undergoing. 
    • Should a factual change have any impact on the recommendations and/or the medical opinion of the clinician they will amend these details in the report.  
    • Any amendments received regarding the wording, the clinician’s recommendations or clinician’s medical opinion will not be reviewed. This information is based on the clinician’s medical expertise and knowledge and cannot be changed as a result of lobbying by the employee, their employer or any other third party.  


  • Collingwood Health Ltd abides by the strict rules of medical confidentiality when handling medical information.  
  • The standards of confidentiality for medical records held by Collingwood Health Ltd are the same as those for all medical records and consequently third parties do not have access to them without your consent.  
  • All information relating to your referral will be held with due regard to your medical confidentiality and in accordance with the General Data Protection regulations and the Data Protection Act 2018. 
  • Neither your manager nor your HR representative will have access to your records.  
  • Your records will not be released to a third party without your express consent except in circumstances of an overriding legal or ethical requirement. 
  • To provide you and your manager with the best possible occupational health advice and support, clinical information flow is necessary within the occupational health team.  
  • As with NHS hospital and general practice services, the occupational health team consists of both clinical and administrative staff (necessary for the running of the service).  
  • All staff are required to sign a confidentiality agreement at the beginning of their employment with Collingwood Health Ltd.  
  • If you object to the flow of information within Collingwood Health Ltd you should advise us immediately.  
  • All clinical occupational health staff have a professional obligation to take part in clinical audit to support the highest standards of care. If the clinical work done at your consultation is randomly selected for clinical audit it will be performed solely within Collingwood Health Ltd by a suitably trained senior clinical staff member.  
  • If you object to your records being involved in clinical audit you should advise Collingwood health Ltd at the earliest opportunity and no later than the completion of your occupational health referral.  


  • You have the right to withdraw your consent for the occupational health assessment, or for the report to be released to your manager/HR representative, at any stage of the process.  
  • If you are unhappy about the assessment process or with the contents of, or possible consequences of, a report you can withdraw consent at any time however, you must do so prior to the previously noted date for release. 
    • If you opt to review your report prior to release to your manager/HR representative, you will be given 2 working days if sent via email or 5 working days if sent via post. If you withdraw your consent after this time Collingwood Health Ltd will have already released your report. 
  • If during your consultation you opt to review your report prior to release to your manager/HR representative but later change your mind, please contact the occupational health team at the earliest possibility by calling 01753 781652.  
    • Please note that Collingwood Health Ltd will amend your consent wherever possible however, should the report have already been released it will not be possible for us to recall this from your manager/HR representative.  
  • If you opt to receive your report via email, please ensure all amendment requests are sent by return from the same email account. We will not accept or acknowledge amendment requests from an email other than the one stated on your consent form.  
  • Please discuss any concerns regarding the release of your report with your occupational health clinician who may be able to answer your concerns and settle your mind.  
  • If you do not consent for a report to be sent after the occupational health clinician has made the assessment, your employer will be informed of this decision and the report will not be sent.  
  • The report will be retained in your records and clearly marked to state that your consent has been withdrawn. 
  • Please note that if you withdraw consent for the release of your report your manager/HR representative will have to make decisions regarding you in the absence of advice from occupational health and this may not be in your best interest.