Occupational Health can be an area of difficulty for many of us, whether in training or not. Those of us who have rarer or unclassified conditions can find interactions with Occupational Health very unhelpful and even frustrating at times due to a lack of understanding of the implications of such conditions on our abilities to undertake our work.
It can be helpful to download any information regarding your condition from a support website/group (See Links to medical advice/support groups) and supply this to Occupational Health in advance of your review with them.
We have developed a document that may help to guide you on what to ask at/what to seek from an Occupational Health review which also contains some guidance about what to do with any formal Occupational Health reports that are generated as a result of your assessment.
:How to get the most out of an Occupational Health Review
There is also guidance concerning occupational health in Welcomed and Valued:
See page 68, panel 11: Occupational health services
Welcomed & Valued Resources, Appendix Panel A8: sample form for referral to occupational health
Welcomed & Valued Resources, Appendix Panel A9: sample report form to be used by occupational health
You may also find it helpful to visit the Faculty of Occupational Health website and check if your Occupational Health department is accredited (this is voluntary) and also to read about the published standards for Occupational Health services so that you know what you should be able to expect from your department in advance.
In our experience, it is often best to attend an Occupational Health appointment/review forearmed with a list of questions/points that you want to be addressed during the review. If you go in to the appointment with an agenda and a list of points that need to be addressed, clarified and documented, then the appointment is far more likely to be successful and strengthen your position. If you attend an OH appointment unprepared and ready to be guided by the OH department, then the meeting is far less likely to be a positive experience from your perspective and is less likely to yield a report that will be useful and empowering for you as an individual.
If all else fails and, despite following our advice and guidance, you have repeatedly bad or negative experiences with your particular OH department then please do remember that you have the right to seek a private OH opinion. There are a number of companies out there who will provide you with a private OH review, opinion and report which you can then use to challenge any unhelpful reports provided by your own OH department. The above guidance and advice documents would apply to a private OH review equally as much as to an employer OH review, perhaps even more given that you are paying for the service so need to ensure that it provides you with the information that you need it to.