Should staff who are absent from work with suspected COVID-19 virus be referred to Occupational Health?

If the absence is only related to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and they are self-isolating, they do not need to be referred to Occupational Health (OH). If there are other reasons for a referral, such as attendance management, mental health etc, referrals should be made as usual.

Should employees still attend face-to-face Occupational Health appointments?

Occupational Health appointments with the OH Physician or Nurse will be conducted by telephone until it is safe to resume face to face. Managers must ensure employees are aware of the change to a telephone appointment and ensure that the referral has included a contact telephone number. Managers should also ensure the employee is able to accept incoming calls from a withheld number.

The contact details for client services are as follows:

What about other services such as physiotherapy and counselling?


Therapy sessions are being provided virtually only via telephone, video or online. This is being regularly reviewed in line with government guidelines. The contact number for the Employee Assistance Programme is 0800 0305182.


The Physiotherapy Clinic reopened on 4 August 2020 and is able to offer face-to-face appointments. An initial assessment and triage can be undertaken remotely if required and the service is continuing to offer video and telephone consultations if appropriate.

These have been very effective in providing patients with an early diagnosis, and the essential advice and exercise programme to self-manage their condition for those not able to attend in person.

Wellbeing support

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is at the forefront of many people’s minds, as the outbreak continues to dominate global news and media. During times of uncertainty, it is understandable to feel an increased level of concern and become anxious.

If you feel you need some support to help positively manage your mental wellbeing, the EAP is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The service is also available to partners and dependents living in the same household. Dependents must be aged 16-24 in full time education.

You can access support services, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by calling 0800 0305182.