A new occupational health service is now available to NHS GPs and dentists working across the South of England.
The Heales Medical Group, an established provider of occupational health services began delivering the new service on 1 April 2017, following a procurement process led by NHS England’s regional team for the South.
About the new service
The new service, which has been commissioned by NHS England, provides:
- A comprehensive Occupational Health service for all GPs and dentists delivering NHS services in the South of England. This will include;
- occupational health advice for GPs and dentists via an easy to use online portal, or by telephone, email, fax or post.
- referral to the service for occupational health support in response to any short-term or long-term sickness absences, or with regards to health issues or potential health issues that may impact upon a GP or dentist’s role and ability to carry out their duties safely and effectively
- health surveillance services (for example night-worker assessments, vaccination boosters)
- support for GPs and dentists on the performers’ list retiring as a result of ill-health under an NHS, local government or private pension scheme
- Needlestick Injury advice and support to NHS GPs, dentists and healthcare workers, including trainees on 03333 449006.
- Occupational health screening/clearance services for GPs and dentists wishing to join the National Performers List. This includes the provision of any immunisations that individuals are required to have had before joining the Performers List. These occupational health screening/clearance services must be self-funded by applicants as part of the process for applying to join the Performers List.
The new service is being provided in line with a national service specification, to ensure all NHS GPs and dentists working in England have access to a consistent and equitable occupational health service. Further information about the services that will be provided is detailed in the service specification that is on NHS England’s website.
The new occupational health service that is being provided by Heales Medical replaces any previous local arrangements for the provision of the occupational health services.
The service is in addition to the separate new NHS GP Health Service which has been announced by NHS England to improve access to mental health support for GPs and trainee GPs. Further information about how to access this support is available on the GP Health website.
Who can use the new occupational health service NHS England has commissioned in the South?
GP practices and dental practices should be mindful that the new service only applies to GPs and dentists on the Performers List.
This is with the exception of accessing needlestick injury advice, which can also be sought on behalf of other healthcare workers at a GP or dental practice, including trainees.
GPs or dentists applying to join the Performers’ List and who need the necessary health screening/clearance services to support their application will need to access these services via Heales, but will need to pay for these services.
As employers, GP practices and dental practices will continue to have a responsibility to ensure any of their staff who are not covered by this service, can access occupational health services, as needed. Occupational health services for other dental/GP practice staff are not funded by NHS England and will need to be funded by GP practices and dental practices for their staff who are not GPs or dentists, because they are not covered under the new arrangements. Heales (www.heales.com) and other occupational health providers offer a service for employers and would need to be contacted directly for more information about this.
How to use the new occupational health service
Your GP/dental practice will need to register online to make referrals to Heales Medical or to request the occupational health services described above.
To register for the new service and to find out what information practices need to provide as part of the registration process, go to the Heales Medical website.
Each practice will be required to nominate one or more people at their practice who will be authorised to make referrals to the service.
Heales Medical operates from clinics in a number of locations across the UK. When it is necessary for a GP or dentist to attend one of their clinics, Heales Medical will discuss with them which clinic is best to meet their individual needs.
How to contact Heales Medical
The Heales Medical support team can be contacted if you have any queries that are not covered by the information provided on their website. Their contact details are listed below:
27 Bridge Street
Hertfordshire SG5 2DF
Telephone: 08448421755 Ext 4000