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Meet the Occupational Health Team

Janey Watt – Occupational Health Manager 

I manage the Occupational Health team and am responsible for the strategic development of Occupational Health. 

Together with the Occupational Health Adviser we aim to provide a quality service that all staff can access whether it’s a directly linked work issue or whether a health issue is affecting your work. General non work-related health concerns are best addressed by your General Practitioner. We review and support all staff via either Management or Self-Referral route. At review we will listen to your health concerns and then together we will plan how best to support you.

With your consent will provide advice on reasonable workplace adjustments to your manager and Human Resource Business partner. This way we aim to support you in work or returning to work following an absence. We will forward you a copy of the report for your consent prior to it becoming visible to your manager. We will not disclose any medical in confidence information.

An Occupational Health Adviser will also undertake medical assessments on fitness to work ensuring that you are fit to undertake all your tasks safely and effectively without risk to your own health.

Supporting and advising on all physical and psychological health related issues, undertaking onward referrals to the appropriate specialist. Our aim is to ensure you have a positive working environment and to assist you improve your own wellbeing.

Geraldine Gillespie – Occupational Health Technician & Wellbeing Adviser

Wellbeing

As the Occupational Health Technician & Wellbeing Adviser I am the first point of contact for staff wishing to self-refer to Occupational Health to discuss their wellbeing concerns. All self-referral appointments are treated in the strictest confidence.

I offer support and guidance to staff on reaching their personal goals and achieving a healthy work-life balance. We can work together to improve your wellbeing and achieve your goals. Empowering you to make informed decisions and good choices, suggesting ways to stay motivated to reduce any health risks.

Health assessments to measure height, weight, body mass index and blood pressure can be undertaken with myself. Baseline measurements can be obtained and repeated at regular intervals so that progress can be monitored, which is a great motivation for sticking with your goals.

If together we feel you could benefit from specialist fitness advice, I can undertake an onward referral to the University fitness facility for support.

Stress, anxiety and depression are now major contributing factors to absence from work. Sometimes the issues are work related but are often not, yet they can still affect your motivation and performance in your role. If there is a need for more specialised psychological input during a difficult time, I can refer you onwards to our Occupational Health Cognitive Behavioural Therapist.

If you have an ergonomic issue at work or a muscular skeletal issue, I offer a consultation that may result in an onward referral to Physiotherapy.

Health Surveillance

Health surveillance is a series of ongoing health checks, some of which may be required by law. They are designed to identify and assess the potential risk from health hazards in the workplace.  This will take the form of periodic screening and/or examination of individuals who may be exposed to potentially harmful substances or physical hazards which may affect their health.  Health surveillance establishes a base line health status from which to monitor change and measure the effectiveness of the control measures in place.  Advice and guidance will be given in accordance to the health surveillance results.

The Occupational Health Technician & Wellbeing Adviser is responsible for carrying out Health Surveillance checks for staff. These checks include Audiometry tests (hearing), Spirometry tests (lung function), Dermatology (skin surveillance), colour vision testing and Hand-Arm Vibration (HAVS). Depending on your Occupation your manager will risk assess the hazards and Occupational health will undertake the appropriate health surveillance screening. Health records of Health Surveillance are not medical records and he results of health surveillance will be provided to the respective mangers as required under the HSE guidance.

Julie Ramage – Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist

I am the Cognitive Behavioural Therapist in the Occupational Health team. I work with staff across the university, providing therapeutic and counselling support. The referrals are from my colleagues in Occupational Health, either from management or self-referrals.

I provide  short to medium term help for conditions such as work-based stress, anxiety, low mood and depression, low self-esteem or confidence, dealing with injuries and illness, bereavement and loss and relationship issues. Sometimes people come to see me at times when they have experienced a personal trauma or loss; sometimes they might be feeling like they are not able to cope as usual. Some people have diagnosed mental health conditions; others are looking for support for problems or help to cope with life events and stages.

I provide a confidential service. I don’t repeat or share anything my clients say outside of the therapy session. The approach I use is collaborative – so we work through issues, led by the client and with exploration and challenge from myself as therapist.

Sometimes there will be work to do outside of the session, often this is trying things differently or observing self and others. The extent to which the client engages with this work outside can make a lot of difference to the outcomes. I don’t have a magic wand (unfortunately) – but I do believe that small changes can make an important difference to how well people feel and how they cope.

I have benefitted from CBT myself at difficult times in my life and I continue to practice some of the techniques and approaches that I learnt in therapy as well as during my training and professional work.

Susan Kelly – Occupational Health Administrator

My duties are to provide administrative assistance to three professional staff providing support for all 3000 staff across the University, acting as internal and external first point of contact in matters relating to the Occupational Health Department.

Offering administrative support and organising the diary commitments of the Occupational Health Manager, Occupational Health Adviser Adviser, Occupational Heath Wellbeing Adviser and the Cognitive Behavioural Physcotherapist, I reserve appointments for staff who contact or visit Occupational Health.

I provide confidential administrative support to the Occupational Health Department including monitoring and answering emails, calls and preparing medical in confidence reports for staff and managers.

My role includes organising and maintaining the Occupational Health records and reports, following up outstanding consent for reports and organising the paperwork for onward medical referrals.

My role also ensures Occupational Health’s finances are completed and up to date by raising purchase orders, receipting and raising journal transfers.