Interface between primary care and Occupational Health (OH) services
NHS primary care services are completely separate from the University OH service. Primary care services investigate and treat patients’ medical conditions and act as therapeutic advocates for their patients. OH practitioners provide independent and objective advice to managers in relation to fitness for work, study or training. It is not possible for a service or a practitioner to be both a therapeutic advocate and to provide independent advice to management. This would represent a conflict of interest.
NHS primary care services are contracted to provide comprehensive medical care 24 hours every day for all of their patients. These medical services include investigation and treatment of all medical conditions, physical and mental. Primary care doctors act as advocates for their patients when necessary to ensure the highest standards of medical care. It is possible that primary care doctors would be the first professionals to become aware that a student might be unable to meet the generic standards of fitness to study. In these cases, with consent of the student, the primary care doctor may alert the University to the need for an OH assessment of fitness to train or study. Occasionally primary care doctors provide medical evidence about diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of a patient, for the University Occupational Physician, on request, with the consent of the patient, in accordance with the Data Protection Act, Access to Medical Reports Act and Department of Health guidance.
One specific NHS primary care practice, known as Brownlow Group Practice, happens to have a branch health centre located on the University Campus. This branch is known as the Student Health Centre and is located at 150 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool L69 3GD. Their contact telephone number is 0151 794 4578. Brownlow Group Practice does not offer any OH services.
Students with minor, self-limiting illness, which does not have any significant effect on long term fitness to study may sometimes request an NHS fit note from their NHS primary care doctor. NHS doctors are only contracted to provide NHS fit notes for state benefits and employment purposes. Although a request for an NHS fit note to cover absence from studies does not form part of the contractual duties of an NHS doctor, this is a useful and reasonable means for the University to satisfy itself that an absence of a student for a short period is linked to a medical condition. For students with prolonged or severe physical or mental impairment, about whom there is a legitimate management doubt about fitness to train or study, or who are requesting significant resources for adjustments on medical grounds, it is appropriate for University management to request a formal OH assessment from the University OH service. Any OH referral by management will be in accordance with the University policies in relation to Fitness to Practise, Fitness to Study, staff absence management and compliant with data protection and equality legislation.
Medical care in an emergency
The University Occupational Health Service does not have the facilities to provide emergency medical care or a minor injury service. Valuable time could be lost by sending sick and/or injured individuals to this department. If urgent medical advice is needed during work, advice should be sought from the NHS. NHS advice and treatment is available from:
Liverpool City Walk in Centre,
6 David Lewis Street, Liverpool L1 4AP
Telephone : 0151 247 6500
Opening hours : Monday to Friday 08.30 to 19.00
Garston Primary Care Treatment Centre,
32 Church Road, Garston, Liverpool L19 2LP,
Telephone : 0151 295 1910
Opening hours : Monday to Friday 09.00 to 21.00
The Royal Liverpool Hospital A&E department is very busy and the waiting time for minor injuries may be much longer that at the NHS walk in centres. If the condition appears too serious to be handled locally, an emergency ambulance should be called via security on 2222, to ensure rapid access to University premises.