Many managers mistakenly believe that the first action in dealing with workplace health issues is to refer to the Occupational Health service. This can lead to ‘medicalising’ issues that are better dealt with by effective management support and action.
When considering making a referral to OH, the most important question that a manager needs to be clear about is “why am I referring this person to OH?”. From a best practice perspective, a manager considering a referral to OH will have done the following:
- Consulted with the employee and agreed what the situation / problem is that you are trying to address and how you as a manager can help with this
- Consulted organisational policies and if necessary, sought HR advice to address the issue
- Consulted Optima Health™ (online and/or telephone) including OH Guidance Notes to manage any workplace health issues without making a formal referral to OH
- Implemented initial advice from the above as appropriate and reviewed the outcome
Doing the above will make any subsequent referral to OH much easier, clearer and effective. If a manager decides a referral to OH is required, this must be discussed with the employee, taking account of what has happened so far and formally agreeing consent for a referral to OH from the employee. This will ensure the employee is engaged in the process and will enable the best possible output from the OH referral.
Referral to OH is done via our online portal, which most people are able to use without support or training. Detailed guidance on making a referral using the online portal is here.
If you still have difficulties, please call your Optima Health™ helpline number
What makes a good Occupational Health referral?
This guide has been produced to provide information to line managers with advice on what is required when making a referral to Occupational Health. To ensure that you get the information you require to progress a case, please ensure that all the following steps are followed.