UCL Occupational Health and Wellbeing (OHW) undertakes confidential medical assessments for student groups coming to study at UCL.
The students we screen either have a health standard requirement to be able to practise safely and effectively and to register with their professional body; or their training will require them to work in an NHS clinical environment.
The courses we currently support are:
- MBBS – UCL Medical School (including students transferring from other institutions and incoming medical electives)
- Doctorate in Clinical Psychology – UCL Division of Psychology & Language Sciences
- PGCE (ITE) – UCL Institute of Education
- PGDE Teach First (ITE) – UCL Institute of Education
- MPharm – UCL School of Pharmacy
- MSc Audiometry – UCL Ear Institute
- MSc / PhD – UCL Institute of Neurology
- MSc Speech & Language Therapy – UCL Division of Psychology & Language Sciences
OHW health questionnaires should be completed by you and assessed by us prior to commencing your course at UCL, although different courses work to differing timelines. For the timelines and key dates for your course, please contact UCL Admissions or your School / Division contact.
OHW health declaration
The OHW process is designed to support you in your training and chosen career. We will always advise the School / Division / Faculty of any adjustments that may be helpful to you on your course of study.
About the questionnaire
On the questionnaire relevant to your course, you will be asked to declare all significant health conditions from which you have ever suffered. UCL has a responsibility under the Equality Act (2010) to make reasonable adjustments to support disabled students in education. The health issues of most students can be accommodated though the School / Division / Faculty has a duty to confirm students are capable of practising in a safe and responsible manner. It is therefore essential that you declare all health conditions so that we may assess any impact they may have on your ability to study or to practise safely, take responsibility for young people in your charge (teaching students) or vulnerable and sick people of all ages (clinical students). This will include, but is not limited to:
- any impairment to sight, hearing or speech
- difficulties with mobility
- any conditions which may leave you with an increased risk of infection
- any condition which affects concentration, awareness, memory or an ability to learn and understand
- any condition that may affect your judgement, mood or behaviour.
We advise you to declare as much information as possible about treatments, medications, follow-up appointments and the impact of symptoms on your ability to undertake your daily activities. If you have had any adjustments supporting you currently in school or in work, please let us know about these too.
Once you have completed the questionnaire
Once you have completed the questionnaire it will be assessed by one of the OHW team and a nurse may wish to speak to you to obtain further information (medical school applicants – please see additional information below). The nurse will try and call you and if they are not able to contact you, you will be asked to ring back.
We understand that some of the information you declare could be very sensitive and you might find it difficult or upsetting to talk about, however, please be assured that our team are all very experienced in having these types of conversations (the person who you will speak to about your health is a registered nurse). You may feel that the questions you are asked are intrusive however our screenings are based on the standards outlined by the professional bodies who regulate your chosen profession and guidance published by HEOPS (Higher Education Occupational Practitioners network). It may be helpful to look at those documents prior to speaking to us. The reference list shows the specific documents to your chosen course of study.
When we call, if you are not in an environment where you can speak freely please just let us know and we will call you back later at a more convenient time. We would advise a quiet space where you cannot be overheard.
All information you declare to us is treated in the same way as any other medical information, such as that held by your GP, and no one can access it without your informed consent. Please see our full privacy statement.
In certain circumstances, the nurse may decide that an assessment is required with one of our doctors. The nurse will explain the reason for this decision. In those circumstances it is essential that you attend this appointment so that we can assess you fully. Not attending may result in you not being able to start your course. If you need to travel to London for a face to face assessment you will need to make your own arrangements for this.
During a consultation you may be asked for consent to obtain a medical report from your GP or your treating specialist. If a report is required and your GP makes a charge, you are liable for that cost. A report will then be compiled by our doctor and the outcome shared with the School / Division / Faculty, with your consent. The doctor will explain to you what they wish to put into the report prior to sending it.
It is the School / Division who will decide if they are able to accommodate any advised adjustments and if you are able to meet the academic and practical criteria of the course of study / regulatory body with those adjustments in place.
If you do require adjustments because of a health or learning need you also must contact our colleagues in Student Support & Wellbeing who will arrange a practical assessment and help you access any equipment you need, as well as create a Summary of Reasonable Adjustments (SORA) to support you as you move through your course.
Meningitis C: All students commencing training should be vaccinated for meningitis C prior to starting their course. Please contact your GP to arrange this who should do this for free.
- Additional information for medical school applicants:
The GMC requires a two-stage process for all applicants to medical school. This means that all students will have two interactions with OHW.
The first stage is prior to being offered a place at UCL Medical School (a GMC requirement) and you need to comply with the questionnaire process outlined above. As well as completing the electronic questionnaire, you must also print off this document (all eight pages) and ask your GP to sign and stamp if to verify that it is accurate. You should also obtain a copy of any vaccination records and where possible commence on a hepatitis B vaccination programme if you have not had this previously. Your GP may charge you for both signing the form and the vaccinations. Once you have been assessed as fit to enrol you will then need to attend an appointment in OHW to have any outstanding immunisations and blood tests. This will be arranged shortly after you commence your course of study.
OHW assessment process
Once the School or Division to which you have applied has sent us your contact details, we will load them onto our database and contact you via email with instructions on how to register on the OHW database (called ‘eOPAS’)Please note that our database is entirely separate from other UCL systems and therefore you need to create a unique log in. You will need to use the email that you provided to the School / Division as this will be the one loaded on to our database.
- Additional information for medical school applicants:
The OHW screening process for applicants to UCL Medical School is more complicated. Please see the guide we have created below.
Any student undertaking a placement or training for a clinical environment must undergo a health screening appointment here in OHW before starting that placement.
Please upload any documents that you have relating to your vaccination and immunisation history. This could be evidence of blood tests showing immunity or immunisations you had as a baby.
Requirements for all clinical students
Students should protect patients, colleagues and themselves by being immunised against serious communicable diseases when vaccines are available. The guidance will change over time but the current DH guidance recommends the following:
- Tuberculosis (TB) Evidence of immunity and freedom from TB disease is required. In accordance with National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines, NHS workers (including medical students) who have access healthcare settings or have patient contact as part of their work will require screening for Tuberculosis (TB) before clearance can be given. TB screening is required in order to detect if there is evidence of latent TB or active TB which will need to be medically treated to prevent the spread of infection to vulnerable and at risk groups they may have contact with.
The health questionnaire asks applicants about exposure to and symptoms associated with TB. Anybody who declares symptoms of active TB will be referred to the TB clinic for further investigations. Access to work with patient contact or in a healthcare setting must be postponed until treatment has been successfully completed.
Students arriving from high risk countries, or having stayed > 4 weeks in a high incidence country in the last five years (‘high risk’ is defend as an incidence of >40 cases per 100,000 populations) will need gamma-interferon testing. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tuberculosis-tb-by-country-rates-per-100000-people
- Measles and Rubella: Medical students, as health care workers, must be able to prove their immunity to measles and rubella. This can either be with a blood test results showing immunity (a positive IgG level) OR evidence of two MMR vaccinations having been given. If only one vaccination has been given at the time of assessment, then an immediate booster is required (if more than a month after the first vaccination was received).
- Varicella: Medical students, as health care workers, must be able to prove their immunity to varicella (chickenpox). If the student is from temperate climates then an oral history of infection is acceptable. If the student is from a tropical and sub-tropical climate then serological screening should be performed regardless. Non-immune students must be given two varicella vaccinations in line with the Green Book chapter 34.
- Subtropical map
- Tropical map
Immunocompromised students will be unable to receive live vaccinations and it may be necessary to advise the Medical School of restrictions required whilst respecting the student’s right to medical confidentiality.
Medical students only
Please read guidance on how to submit your questionnaire