Referring an Employee

Managers must discuss the reasons for a referral with an employee in advance of making a referral.

This should include discussing any information they intend to put in the referral such as contact details and information about the employee’s health, as well as any questions they wish to ask the Occupational Health team.

Our HR team is here to support you and can provide specific advice and guidance.



General referral

You should make a general management referral where you require Occupational Health to provide advice to help employees and their managers understand any health conditions that might be impacting on their work and how employees can be supported in the workplace.
Reasons for making a general referral may include, but are not limited to:

  • Long-term sickness absence
  • Frequent levels of short-term absence
  • To access advice and support about an employee’s health condition and understand how they can be supported in the workplace
  • To gain advice about workplace/ergonomic assessments
  • Ill health retirement

Making a general management referral

You can make a referral using our online system or you can request to make a telephone referral by calling (01327 810777).

Access the online system

Guidance on making a general management referral

If you have not yet registered on the Optima Health system, then please email Optima Health at: to request access and the administration team will arrange for a system generated email to be sent to you containing a link for registration.

Once you have accessed the Optima Health system, you will be able to use it to make referrals and track the progress of your cases. You will be sent emails to notify you of any appointments that have been booked for employees you have referred and further emails when any reports are ready to access in the system. You can also provide feedback on any of the reports you receive by filling out a quick and easy customer satisfaction questionnaire.

In the event that you are both a manager referring a member of your team and where you yourself are referred to Occupational Health by your manager, then you will need to supply a separate email address to access the Optima Health portal for each of these scenarios. You can provide your work email address in the format for one and in the format for the other. Alternatively, you can provide a personal email address, if you prefer, when being referred to the OH service.

If you need to view any archived cases, referrals or reports, please contact the HR Employment Relations Team who can give Optima Health permission to provide you with access to these.

Health surveillance

Health surveillance may be required for certain groups of workers in relation to specific process hazards on the basis of risk assessment. This may be on an individual basis or organised for groups of workers.

To request surveillance for an individual, managers and other authorised persons such as School and Divisional Safety Officers, should follow the management referral process stating clearly in the referral form what health surveillance they have identified as being needed.

Where a referral is required for Health Surveillance, this needs to be done by completing the Health Surveillance and Monitoring Referral form, accessing the online system and attaching the form as part of the referral process.

Further advice on health surveillance requirements is available on the Health and Safety Team web site.

DSE Workplace Assessments

DSE assessments should initially be completed by self-assessment and reviewed by a DSE assessor.

If it is agreed by the DSE assessor and manager that the risks cannot be minimised and in complex situations, or when medical advice is required, Occupational Health can provide further advice and support and may choose to attend the workplace to make an assessment.

Guidance on DSE assessments and the University’s Policy

If you conclude that further support from Occupational Health is required, please complete an online management referral (attaching the DSE Assessment) or contact the Health and Safety Team for further advice.


Vaccination and Immunisation Status

Some students and employees may require protection against certain diseases such as Measles, Varicella and TB.

If an immunisation check or vaccination is required for staff, this will need to be identified by the referring manager on the Health Surveillance, Fitness for Work and Vaccination Referral Form.  For students, this will be identified on their pre-placement questionnaire. The Occupational Health team will then make contact to book any appointments that are require.

If you are concerned that you may need vaccinating, or have not completed a course of vaccinations, please contact Optima Health via email at: or tel: 01327 810777.

Employees required to travel overseas on behalf of the University should visit their own GP to obtain vaccinations. Staff may also find useful information on the Business Travel and Expenses Workspace. Costs of such vaccinations will be reimbursed by the University.

Covid-19 Vaccinations – The Occupational Health team are unable to offer Covid-19 vaccinations. Please speak to your own GP or follow national NHS advice to make an appointment.



Last edited Sep 24, 2023