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Durham University

Human Resources & Organisational Development


You have been referred for one of the following reasons:

  • Long Term Sickness Absence

Member of staff has been absent for a period of 4 weeks or more.

  • Frequently Intermittent Absence

Member of staff has had 3 occasions of absence within a 3 month period or 10 days in a rolling year.

  • Management Referral

Manager or member of staff have concerns regarding your health issues which may be impacting on work or work issues which may be impacting on health. Your Manager should discuss the reason for referral with you and provide you with a copy of the referral form.

For further information please refer to the HR policy for absence management in the Practical Guide to Absense Management.
For information on Member of Staff's responsibility and Line Manager's responsibilities for Absence Management refer to the following guides respectively:
Your appointment will last between 20 and 60 mins depending on the reason for referral. Please try to arrive promptly, or be ready by telephone at the appointed time.
No, a self-referal is not accepted by the Occupational Health Service. You would need a Occupational Health Referral Form from your Line Manager or alternatively you could contact your relevant HR Business Partner.
The OHA will undertake a standard assessment which includes the following:
  • Confirmation of your identity, i.s.your date of birth/post code.
  • Consent that you wish to proceed with the assessment you can withdraw your consent at any time.
  • Your occupational history, eg, how long you have worked for the university what you did before you joined the university, the nature of your work and your hours and pattern of work.
  • Your relevant past medical history.
  • Your social situation, e.g. your living arrangements, family, caring arrangements and lifestyle.
  • The presenting problem, i.e. the reason for the referral.
  • Questions about your current treatment, any planned treatment or investigations, etc.
  • An assessment of your activities, mood, etc.
  • Details regarding any medication, like the list of medicines, the dosage duration and an changes in past.
  • Details of work - Any work issues impacting on health on health issues impacting on your ability to do your job.
  • A discussion about the content of the report which will be provided to your manager. The report will provide the practitioners opinion about your fitness for work any adjustments required and whether these will need to be temporary or long term. The practitioner will also provide a view on whether or not your condition is likely to be considered a disability within the legal definition of the Equality Act. Your manager may have asked additional questions and the practitioner will endeavour to answer those. You will then be asked to provide your consent for the report to be released. This can be verbal. Or you may wish to see the report before it is issued to your manager. You will have 5 working days to respond to any factual inaccuracies contained within the report. However, you cannot change the opinion of the practitioner. You can also withdraw your consent for the report to be sent to your manager.
Within the terms and conditions of your contract you are obliged to attend occupational health appointments if your manager asks you to do so. This might be for things such as health surveillance as well as fitness for work or following a period of sick leave. However, participation in the consultation and assessment process can only take place with your informed consent. Your manager will obtain this when he or she refers you and the practitioner will check that this is still valid when you attend.
We would advise you to make every effort to attend your appointment, whether it is with Occupational Health Adviser, Occupational Health Physician, Occupational Health Technician (Health Surveillance) or the Physiotherapist. However in extreme circumstances we will make every effort to accommodate you.
If you require to change your appointment date/time you will need to contact the Occupational Health appointment on 42662 or 42667. Click here for a process map explaining the steps to request for a change in appointment.
This will depend on a number of factors:
  • The number of hours you are employed for.
  • The reason for your absence.
  • Where you are in with your recovery.

The Occupational Health Advisor will discuss with you during the consultation and advise accordingly.

To request a disabled parking permit we would require a referral from your Line Manager. This process may include contacting your GP.
  • Contact your local DSE Assessor if any problems are identified

If you are unsure who your departments local DSE Assessor is please contact the Health and Safety team (Email to:

  • If further intervention is required and your issues are medically related then a referral to Occupational Health may be required via your Line Manager along with you completed DSE assessment form.
  • If non-medical please contact the Health and Safety team for further advice, alternatively contact your local Health and Safety representative.
If you are unsure who your departments local Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Assessor is please contact the Health and Safety team. (Email to:
  • Under the regulations DSE users are entitled to an eye test at regular intervalsand also the cost of a basic pair of frames and lenses if required specifically for DSE use.
  • You can arrange your own eye test at any Opticians.
  • Prior to your visit to the Opticians you will need to print off the eye test form and complete section 1.
  • The Optician will need to complete, stamp and sign section 2 of the form.
  • If the Optician has clarified that you require glasses for DSE use only you can claim up to the value of £75 towards your glasses.
  • You are able to claim up to value of £25 for a sight test regardless of the outcome indicated by the Optician.
  • The completed form and receipts are required to be sent to the University’s Occupational Health department who will then process and authorise a payment request for Finance to issue a cheque.
  • A claim can only be made every 2 years.

You can book first aid training via the training booking system under the category 'First Aid'. Prior to booking, please ensure that you have been authorised by your Line Mnager to attend the 'First Aid' trianing session.

Contact Us

Occupational Health Service
Green Lane,