What is health surveillance?
Health Surveillance is widely used to help employers to control any health risks that their employees may be exposed to whilst they are at work.
The university has a duty to monitor the health of their employees when a risk assessment identifies that there is a specific known risk to their health or well-being; for example carrying out hearing tests on employees who work in noisy environments.
Why do I need it?
Many of the university’s employees are requested to participate in the health surveillance programme, however not all employees will have the same tests. Employees, or groups of employees, are assessed, by trained risk assessors in their department and the tests they will undergo are appropriate to the risks they may be exposed to whilst they are at work.
The health surveillance programme may identify a specific risk to your health, which may result in special precautionary measures being taken, e.g. individually made ear-plugs, to reduce the risk to you personally, as much as possible.
What will happen at the appointment?
It is very much like a normal medical examination and will depend upon the possible risks to your health governed by your job role. Much of the surveillance is carried out by asking you a series of specific questions about your health. Most of the other tests will depend on the type of job you do. The tests are carried out by the occupational health adviser and you will have the opportunity to ask them questions.
If you normally wear glasses or a hearing aid please bring these with you.
Some vocational drivers may be asked to provide a urine sample (a sample pot will be provided). This is to look for conditions that may affect your health such as diabetes. Please therefore bear this in mind just before your appointment.
What happens to the results?
The results of health surveillance are confidential just the same as medical records that are kept by your own doctor (GP) or your Consultant/Specialist if you are seeing one. These medical records cannot be accessed by anyone else without your written consent.
However health surveillance data is slightly different. Health Management will collect and store the information and will treat it as confidential medical information. However, if the surveillance picks up any abnormalities or possible problems, which are work related, then your results will be referred to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) who will consider them and then decide whether reference should be made to your own doctor (GP) or whether you should be referred directly to a consultant/specialist (at the university’s expense).
If there is a need for your GP to be contacted, then Health Management will ask you to complete a medical consent form to be sent by the CMO to your GP. The CMO will then have access to your medical records and discuss the problem with your GP. If you are referred directly to a consultant/specialist, then your consent will be obtained before any information is released to the organisation.
Health Surveillance Policy
Form for Head of School and Directors of Service/Institutes to request health surveillance: