Occupational Health Referrals

The purpose of this information is to answer some of the questions you may have before, during and after attending a medical examination with the Council’s Occupational Health providers (OH).

If your query hasn’t been addressed, or you require additional information on any of the issues raised in the leaflet, please refer to the contacts listed below.

Why have I been asked to attend a Medical Examination?

The Council requires up-to-date medical information to plan ahead and decide upon a course of action that is in the best interests of all concerned. Wherever possible the Council will, on the advice of OH, try to facilitate the employee’s return to work.

The employees Line Manager will consult with the employee whilst preparing the occupational health referral taking their view and ideas into consideration as well as including information regarding absence history.

Do I have to go?

It is a condition of employment that an employee may be required, where it is considered necessary or advisable, to attend an appointment with the Council’s nominated medical practitioner. Should an employee decline, any decision taken by the Council regarding their employment could only be made on the basis of information already available.

The refusal to attend could also affect the employee’s entitlement to claim sickness allowance.

What should I do if I can no longer make the appointment?

If the appointment you have been given is not convenient, please contact the HR Advice Line who will arrange an alternative appointment. Contact details can be found at the bottom of this page.

The Council is charged for a missed appointment. To help prevent charges please contact us on 01546 605513 and press option 2 at least 48 hours prior to your appointment if you are unable to attend.

What happens if I need to travel to the appointment?

The medical examination will either be carried out by telephone, or face to face appointment. You will be advised which of these two types of assessment applies to you in your appointment letter. If you need to travel to attend a face to face examination, the Council recognises that individual circumstances vary according to where you live and the types of transport available. Travel arrangements can be flexible and you can normally choose the option which best suits you. Travel can be arranged by your department in advance if required, alternatively you may wait until after you have attended the medical examination to claim expenses. Reasonable expenses will be paid. If you require overnight accommodation, the hotel will normally invoice the Council direct. If travelling by public transport, you will be reimbursed for the cost of your tickets. If going by private car, you will be reimbursed at £0.15 per mile.

Can anyone else go with me?

Please contact HR Advice Line on 01546 605513 and press option 2 if due to the nature of your condition for example, you need to be accompanied.

What does the medical examination involve?

The medical examination will be carried out by a qualified OH professional such as a nurse or physician, and will last approximately one hour.

Depending upon the reason for the referral, this could include a physical examination. The OH professional will take a detailed history of your work and your health including past illness, family history and lifestyle. The Council will notify the OH professional of your date of birth, home address and telephone number in case he or she wishes to contact you.

These details are strictly confidential and necessary to ensure the OH professional understands all factors that may be relevant. The report to the Council will deal with practical issues and will not reveal confidential matters.

At the consultation you will be asked how you would prefer the report to be sent to the Council. Your choices will include:

  • Send the report to the Council, I do not want to see it (you can get a copy from the Employee Relations Team at any time)
  • If you have been seen by a Dr; you have the choice to have the report sent to you 5 days before the Council receives it so you can correct any factual
  • Do not send the report to the Council at

If you do not allow the report to be sent to the Council, the Council will have to make any decisions based on the information already available to it.

This could affect your access to the Council’s sickness allowance scheme and/or your continued employment with the Council.

Will anyone else see the report?

The Employee Relations team will receive a copy of the OH report provided and pass this to the referring manager on the understanding that this is for their eyes only and will be kept in a secure place. The referring manager will then discuss this with you and, where appropriate, your return to work.

What if I disagree with the report?

If you disagree with the report you can contact OH directly or your manager who will contact OH via the Employee Relations team. If a second medical opinion is required, or on the rare occasion there is a dispute between Occupational Health and the employee’s doctor, the Council will refer the case to their nominated, independent medical referee whose decision shall be final.

If you wish to dispute the content of the report, please contact the HR Employee Relations Team on 01546 605513 (option 2), HRemployeerelationsenquiries@argyll-bute.gov.uk to advise. The team will provide you with a Consultation Feedback Report, which should be completed, and returned to:  The Managing Director, People Asset Management Ltd, Holly House, 73 Sankey Street, Warrington, WA1 1SL.

What if the Council needs to contact my own GP or Specialist?

There may be occasions when, with the employee’s consent, it would be beneficial to liaise with the medical professional responsible for the employee’s clinical care. This is usually achieved by the Council’s OH provider contacting the employee’s GP or Specialist in order to obtain a report. In such circumstances the GP/Specialist needs to know that the employee agrees with the decision to ask for a report. The Council’s OH provider will normally give employees information on their statutory rights and ask them to sign a consent form, a copy of which is then forwarded to the relevant professional.

The employee’s consent provided to OHP at the time of the consultation includes consent for follow up clarification of points in the report or supplementary questions following on from the original report where they do not significantly alter the original report.

Contact Information

For general enquiries or if you need to change your appointment, require assistance with accommodation or travel arrangements or need to be accompanied etc please telephone the HR Advice Line on 01546 605513 and press 2.

Referral form

Download the Occupational Health Referral Form.