Referrals: Frequently asked questions

Here are some frequently asked questions that people may have when they are referred to CNWL Occupational Health Service:


How can I be referred?

Your manager will refer you to CNWL's Occupational Health Service or you can make a self-referral. To request a form for self-referral, please email us at:

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What can I expect on my first visit?

On your first visit you will see one of our nurses or doctors for a routine occupational health assessment. This involves going through some questions to get a full history of your health which will allow us to focus on the main issues that are affecting your health and work.

Please bring any medical reports about your condition, details of your medication, and any glasses if you wear them. It is important that you arrive on time so that we do not have to cut short your visit or cause delays for those who have appointments after you. If you are going to be late, please try and let us know. We may have to ask you to visit at another time. We will let your employer know about any missed or postponed appointments.

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What if I need help relating to a disability or language difficulty during my visit?

If you need assistance during your visit to CNWL's Occupational Health Service, please let us know beforehand. We have made some adjustments to our department to cater for most people:

  • We have a portable induction loop for people with hearing difficulties
  • We can provide information in a larger font on request
  • We are located on the ground floor and parking can be arranged in advance for people with severe mobility problems

You are welcome to bring someone with you if you need personal assistance. Foreign language and sign language interpreters can be arranged if you let us know in advance.

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Is my visit to the occupational health service confidential?

Our staff will not disclose any personal information or information about your health to anyone else without your consent, including your employer.

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What happens if you need more medical information from me?

We may need more information about your health from your GP or a specialist. We can only ask for this with your consent. If this is necessary, the process will be explained to you during your visit. Any medical reports from your GP or a specialist will be sent directly to the CNWL Occupational Health Service and not your employer.

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Can I see my health records?

You can access any of your records held by CNWL Occupational Health Service in accordance with the Data Protection Act. Further details are available on request.

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What will CNWL’s Occupational Health Service tell my employer?

After your visit, we will prepare a response to the manager who made your referral or to your human resources adviser. It is our job to assess your health and advise you and your employer on how this affects your work. We will advise whether or not you are fit to carry out your normal work duties and whether your work needs modifying. We also try, wherever we can, to give some indication of the time-scale for your recovery. If you have a long-term disability, including a disability that is not always present but occurs in spells, we will advise on adjustments to be considered by your employer. Occasionally we have to consider if redeployment or retirement is appropriate. We also advise on some health and safety issues.

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Does my employer need to know what is wrong with my health?

If you have already told your employer what is wrong with you, then some information about how this affects your work can be a bit more explicit, but generally the employer does not need to know the specific nature of any condition in order to manage your work situation safely.

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Can I see the response to my employer?

We will explain to you the advice we will be giving to your employer during your visit. We will also send you a copy of the response at the same time that we send this to your manager and/or human resources adviser. If you would like to see the response before it is sent, please let us know during the visit. We will show you or send you a copy of the response as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about the response, please let us know as soon as possible by email or in writing; preferably within five working days. We will consider your concerns and correct any factual or spelling errors.

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What if I do not agree to the release of the response to my employer?

If you do not agree to the release of the response to your employer, we will inform your employer that the assessment has been completed and that we do not have your consent to release the report at this stage. If you agree to this at a later stage, we will be happy to release the report at this time. If you do not agree to the release of the response to your employer, your employer will need to follow their procedures without occupational health advice in relation to your work.

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What happens if I have referred myself to the occupational health service?

If you have referred yourself to the occupational health service we will talk to you about whether it is appropriate to contact your employer and we will talk to you about any advice that we will be giving your employer. Your health must be our priority and we do not to do anything that will impact negatively on your health. At the same time, we do not encourage employees to stay off work any longer than is necessary. There may be times when we need to advise staff to return to work with some temporary restrictions to safeguard their health and support their recovery, for example, following an operation.

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Can I have a consultation by telephone?

We do arrange telephone consultations for employees who are either too unwell to travel or who live and work in other parts of the country. We also have satellite sites in Harrow, Hillingdon and Milton Keynes.

Telephone consultations:

Telephone consultations usually take about 45 minutes for your first assessment and 30 minutes for a review.

Please make sure that you are prepared for your consultation and have the following information with you when we call:

  • Details of your GP and any specialists
  • Any medical reports from your GP or hospital about your condition
  • Any medication you are taking or have been prescribed
  • A note of any questions you want to ask us

Please make sure you have a quiet and comfortable area in which you can receive our call. You may wish to have someone with you if you feel you need some support.

If the number we are to call you on is incorrect in the appointment letter we send you, or you wish to be called on another number, please let us know. We normally call on a landline number. If we have to call you on a mobile number, please make sure the phone is fully charged.

It is important that you are available at the pre-arranged time of the call so that we do not cause delays to other appointments following yours. If you will not be available at the time or date we have arranged, please let us know so that we can rearrange your appointment. Your employer will be informed of any missed appointments.

If you have any further questions, please contact us on 020 3317 3350.

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Contact details:

Address: Ground Floor, South Wing, St Pancras Hospital, 4 St Pancras Way, London NW1 0PE
Phone: 020 3317 3350
Fax: 020 3317 3587

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