New Employee Health Clearance Process

From 1st January 2011 Working Well implemented a revised, simplified health clearance process for new staff in line with recent changes to the law and NHS guidance. We hope that staff will find the new system easier, quicker and more helpful but any new process may produce unforeseen difficulties and we therefore intend to review the system in 3 months time so that any issues identified can be addressed.

Recruiting managers will be required to ensure that a risk assessment is undertaken for any post being advertised. Greater detail about any health or fitness standards for the post will be required in the Person Specification. Guidance to help you consider possible risks can be found on the Information sheet accompanying this brief but HR or Working Well Occupational Health can provide further advice.

All new staff will be sent a welcome letter from Working Well occupational health (WW1) and the recruiting manager should include this with the offer letter. Posts are now divided into clinical and non clinical and the definitions for these groups can also be found in the Information sheet.

Non clinical staff will be sent a Health Declaration (WW2) with their offer letter which is returned to the recruiting manager. If the new employee answers “No” and all other checks are satisfactory, then the appointment can go ahead without further input from Occupational Health. If the prospective employee answers “Yes” the recruiting manager should complete the identification form (WW3) and attach it to WW2, sending both through to Working Well for assessment in the usual way. It is very important that the manager completes all the information requested on WW3 including the section about Job Hazards.

For clinical staff, the recruiting manager will send out the Short Health Declaration (WW4) with the job offer letter, having completed the relevant manager’s sections on the form. This form will be returned to Working Well who will assess this and respond by email wherever possible. Staff with clinical contact should also be sent WW5 asking them to provide appropriate evidence of vaccination and immunity. A proportion of staff will be required to undertake exposure prone procedures (for an explanation of this please see the Information Sheet). These staff will also require WW6 to be sent to them in addition to the other paperwork.

Working Well will send you a fitness slip by email, within 48 hours unless further information is required. Information regarding the immunity assessment will be sent separately and updated as appropriate so that managers can retain up to date information about staff immunity on file.

In specific situations, further assessment will also be required and these include:
 Food handlers
 Night workers
 Regular use of latex gloves.

Explanations of these categories can be found on the Information Sheet and where applicable, the relevant form should be sent to the new employee. These forms are also “health declarations” and need only be forwarded to occupational health in the case of a positive response. The manager can retain the form on the personal file in order to comply with various pieces of legislation.

The same process will apply to volunteer and non-substantive staff. An individual assessment of the need for vaccinations and immunity checks will be made in these cases because of the marked variation in duties.

Your HR departments have been briefed about these changes. Please let us know if you have any concerns or encounter any difficulties so that we can make any amendments as necessary.

Forms and Policies can be found at:

http://www.workingwell2gether.nhs.uk/0n-line-questionnaire/policies

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