Occupational Health and Safety Policy and Guidance

I’m asked about general policy on occupational health all the time.  

Here you will find free downloads of the most often requested OH policy and procedures.

General Policy


Prescribing & Giving Medication in an NHS Occupational Health (OH) Service – FAQ sheet

Medicines legislation defines OH as a scheme where an employer provides facilities for his/her employees for the treatment or prevention of disease.

Medicines supplied or administered in the course of an occupational health scheme do not need a Patient Group Directive (PGD)  or individual prescriptions. The medicines must be supplied or administered by a doctor or registered nurse. Where the medicine is prescription only medicine (POM) and supplied or administered by a registered nurse,  a registered doctor sets out the circumstances in which it is used.

The law does not specify any requirements for the content of directions.

Do OH Services need to use PGDs to supply or administer medicines to business?

An occupational health scheme (OHS) is a scheme in which a person, provides facilities for employees for the treatment or prevention of disease. Occupational health schemes are exempt from the restrictions that apply to general sales list medicines, pharmacy medicines and prescription only medicines, where medicinal products are supplied in the course of the OHS.

In the case of prescription-only medicines or POMs, the person supplying or administering the medicines, if not a doctor, must be a registered nurse. And they must act in accordance with the written instructions of a doctor,  setting out the circumstances in which the medicine is used in the course of the scheme.

Although PGD’s are not required in law to supply and administer medicines in the course of occupational health work, they are often used to create a robust framework for the administration of medicines.

Can an occupational health service run by an NHS trust use PGDs to administer vaccines to people who work for other organisations? 


Does it make any difference whether the other organisations are NHS bodies or not? No.

Is this classed as the provision of a private service by the NHS? Can NHS PGDs be used for this private service? Yes.

NHS OH that provides services to an outside agency, including vaccination of employees for the purposes of business travel, is essentially delivering a ‘private’ not an NHS OHS. The NHS OHS is legally able to deliver that private service using PGDs.

Our NHS occupational health service is running a private travel clinic for staff and their family members. Do they need a PSD or a PGD for this? 

Yes. The service is not operating as an occupational health scheme and so in this case, the Medicines Act exemptions do not apply. A PSD or a PGD would be needed.

Do not take the answers above out of context. They apply only to NHS organisations and not other healthcare providers such as GPs or other private providers.

For policy guidance for all health professionals read Guidance from Gov UK

Do you need another or have a policy question?  Let me know and I will add it to the page