Our Blog

March 11, 2024

How to set up an effective health surveillance programme with occupational health support

What is a health surveillance programme? As an employer you should have an ongoing health surveillance scheme if an identifiable disease or health effect may be linked to the exposure at work. This is a programme of regular health checks which are used to identify at an early stage if an employee’s health is being…

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January 10, 2024

Can an employee return to work before a fit note expires?

The short answer is yes! One of the purposes of a fit note is for the GP to communicate with the person’s employer about their current health status and if they are fit to return to work or if they are fit to return to work with some adjustments or support in place. An employee…

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November 30, 2023

Dealing with mental ill-health when an individual is at work

There are many types of mental health issues. An issue can happen suddenly, because of a specific event in someone’s life, or it can build up gradually over time. Some common mental health issues include stress (while not classed as a medical condition, it can still have a serious impact on wellbeing), depression and anxiety….

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worker and employer reviewing mental health of worker

October 31, 2023

Pre-employment Health Assessments

What is a pre-employment assessment and why do you need one? As a business owner or manager, you’ll want to ensure you have the right person to do the job as this will lead to reduced absenteeism and increased productivity. A pre-employment assessment is usually performed as part of the recruitment process, after the interview…

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health assessment completion

October 6, 2023

How to spot the signs of deteriorating mental health at work

Why is it important to spot the signs of deteriorating mental health at work? Having poor mental health has the potential to have a significant impact on both the individual, their family and friends, as well as their work colleagues and their organization. On a personal level, it can significantly affect quality of life, quality…

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September 14, 2023

Getting the best out of your Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

What is an EAP? An Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a service that provides fully confidential advice, practical information, support and counselling to employees on a wide range of personal and work-related issues, including financial and legal advice, stress management and wellbeing. An EAP can be made available to all employees no matter when or…

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August 24, 2023

Small Occupational Health Provider v Big Occupational Health Provider

Occupational Health Services Ltd is a small clinician-led OH provider…and we don’t hide the fact. People often associate the company size with its success, but let’s define success. In our eyes, success is ensuring our clients receive the highest quality OH services. We are in the business of providing our customers with the best possible OH…

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July 6, 2023

How do we deal with non-consent for OH reports?

One of the questions I often get asked by managers is what happens if an employee does not consent to release of the occupational health report? Consent requirements for medical reports By law, an individual needs to consent to the sharing of their medical information. This means that in occupational health, we cannot release our…

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July 18, 2022

The role of occupational health assessments

The latest official data shows that 32.5 million working days were lost to work-related ill health in 2019/20, with stress, anxiety and depression accounting for almost 18 million of these. Research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) shows that Covid-19 has forced employee wellbeing more urgently into focus for many organisations. Businesses…

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Role of Health Assessments

September 12, 2021

Why you need a menopause policy

Menopause awareness has been gaining traction recently, and rightly so; women of menopausal age are now the fastest-growing demographic in the workplace. In fact, some 4.3 million women aged 45-60 are currently employed in the UK. While some of these will be blissfully unaffected, many will experience an impact on their work and home life. …

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September 10, 2021

Working with cancer: how OH advice can help

According to cancer support charity, Macmillan, HR staff in a large company will see more new cancer diagnoses each year than the average GP. More than 700,000 people of working age are living with a cancer diagnosis in the UK, and many of these will continue to work during or after treatment. This could be because…

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August 10, 2021

Supporting employees with mental health issues

What managers need to know Three out of five employees have experienced a mental health issue in the last year either because of work or related to work, while 31 per cent have been formally diagnosed with a mental health condition.  Yet despite these alarming figures from Business in the Community/Mercer research, stress, anxiety and depression still…

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July 10, 2021

Are standing desks worth the money?

It is well documented that a sedentary lifestyle and sitting still for long periods during the day can have an adverse effect on health.  The effects can include heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer; and prolonged static postures can contribute to backache, depression and muscle degeneration. Our bodies are designed to stand and move for long…

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June 13, 2021

Fitness for safety critical work

Safety critical work can be defined as a task where the ill health of an individual may compromise their ability to do that task, therefore posing a significant risk to the health and safety of others, as well as plant, premises and the environment. Types of safety critical roles involve operating machinery such as cranes,…

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April 8, 2021

Are you doing enough to manage stress at work?

An individual who feels stressed at work may feel stressed solely due to work issues, but in many instances there is likely to be a combination of home and work pressures. Sometimes the home pressures are the main issue, which then cause the individual to struggle with the normal work pressures, which can lead them…

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March 8, 2021

Supporting employees with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) at work

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), and is a condition where you have long-term disabling tiredness (fatigue). Most people with CFS also have one or more other symptoms such as muscular pains, joint pains, disturbed sleep patterns, poor concentration, headaches, low mood. The cause is not known. Treatments that may…

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January 22, 2021

What to expect from an occupational health assessment

The purpose of an occupational health referral is for the employer to understand if there is a health condition present that may impact on work, or if there are any work factors that may impact on the employee’s health.  The referral should provide information on the individual’s health condition or symptoms, identify how that condition…

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November 2, 2020

Is your employee classed as disabled under the Equality Act (2010)?

Determining whether an employee is likely to be considered as disabled under the Equality Act (2010) is important as it means that employers must consider offering reasonable adjustments to that person’s work if there are aspects of their work where they are at a substantial disadvantage, compared to a non-disabled person, due to their health…

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August 13, 2020

Fitness to attend a disciplinary meeting

Have you ever invited an employee to a disciplinary meeting only to find that they go off sick the following day with stress? Attending a disciplinary meeting is likely to cause anybody feelings of anxiety and worry, but in many cases, delaying any formal investigations or hearings is likely to increase the anxiety further and…

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June 24, 2020

What are reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act (2010) and when do they apply?

The Equality Act (2010) requires employers to offer reasonable adjustments for disabled employees, however, it is down to employers to decide what is reasonable and adjustments should comprise. Reasonable adjustments are limited to those that prevent a disabled person from being placed at a substantial disadvantage compared with those who are not disabled, and are…

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I’ve known Debbie ever since I started my business over eight years ago. Whenever I’ve needed occupational health support, Debbie is right there for me. She has never let me down and everything she has done for me has been of the highest quality. Her professionalism and understanding of the subject is second to none and I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending her services to anyone that needs an occupational health service.

Stuart Falconer, HR Consultant, Morgan Thomson HR

I have worked with Debbie on a number of occasions and she has become my ‘go to’ occupational health advisor. She is both professional and pragmatic, builds a great rapport with employees and employers alike and produces reports in quick time. Quite simply, the best OH advisor I have worked with.

Jon Phillips, HR Consultant, Calium HR

SA Law has enlisted the expert assistance of Debbie Holder for occupational health support over a number of years on behalf of numerous clients. We have always found her to be approachable and helpful in what can often be very difficult circumstances for our clients. Her advice is timely, comprehensive and comes at a very reasonable fee when compared with a number of other occupational health providers. We would have no hesitation in recommending her services to others.

Chris Cook, Partner, Head of Employment and Data Protection, SA Law

Debbie is our trusted advisor for OH matters and we regularly refer our clients to her. Debbie’s approach means her advice and reporting is always clear and concise and has really helped our clients navigate some tricky situations. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Debbie and Occupational Health Services.

Chris Miles, Assistant Manager, People Solutions, Menzies LLP

I have used Occupational Health Services for a range of employee health matters. I find the service very responsive, flexible, medically sound and professional taking into consideration both the employees’ and employers’ situation. The reports are detailed to a high standard to allow the business to review possible support and the next steps with the employee and Occupational Health Services will always advise if a further assessment may be needed.

Leanne Taylor, HR Consultant, Beststart HR

After working with a variety of occupational health providers over the years, I have never worked so closely with a provider who genuinely cares about our colleagues but also about our business. Occupational Health Services Ltd understand our business and spend time to understand our colleagues too. They are always at the end of a phone to give advice, support and give confidence to colleagues working with them for the best outcomes for all.

Linsay Baverstock, People Partner, Settle Group

Debbie has been assisting us with all of our OH needs since 2015 and I can honestly say nothing is too much trouble, quick turnaround if needed, with excellent professional assessments and advice given. Would recommend.

Michelle Bolino, Head of HR, Selectaglaze Ltd, St Albans

Occupational Health Services Ltd has greatly assisted many of my clients and their staff in assessing health issues and providing helpful guidance on road maps to improved health and attendance.

Philip Delafield, HR Consultant, Delafield Consulting ltd

We have worked with Occupational Health Services Ltd for eight years now and the service Debbie has provided has been excellent. She always responds to us within a few hours and is very accommodating to our needs. We feel really confident that our employees will have a positive experience with Debbie, even at a time when perhaps they are not positive themselves. As an employer with a relatively lean head count, we do not feel compromised or exposed with the advice Debbie provides to employees, and instead, take real benefit about how best to return employees to full health in the workplace. Would highly recommend.

Pete Howitt, HR Director, ADR Network