The Occupational Health Service is provided for students within the Faculty of Health and School of Education on courses with occupational fitness to practise requirements.
Pre-course health screenings
When you confirm Bristol as your first choice university, the Admissions team will get in touch with a pre-course health questionnaire for Faculty of Health applicants, or a separate questionnaire for PGCE applicants. The process is:
1. The Admissions team will send you a pre-course health assessment questionnaire if your course involves:
- clinical duties, or
- contact with vulnerable patients or clients.
2. Complete your questionnaire as fully as possible, providing:
- a full history of your past or current health issues,
- current vaccinations and the dates these were administered,
- a signature from your GP.
3. Upload the completed questionnaire through the Admissions portal by the deadline provided.
You may be contacted by the Occupational Health team for a health assessment in Bristol before you start. The vast majority of students are fit for their courses and the school you have applied to will be informed if you need any support or adjustments.
(0117) 33 17655
Fitness to practise
We provide services for students on courses with fitness to practise requirements:
- Gateway to Medicine
- Gateway to Dentistry
- Dental hygiene
- Veterinary science
- Gateway to vetinary medicine
- Veterinary nursing and biovetinary science
- Vetinary nursing and companion animal behaviour
Support and services for your health and wellbeing whilst studying at University.
Students can access a full NHS GP service through the Students' Health Service.
If you have a needlestick injury, call the needlestick hotline on 0117 342 3400.
We provide occupational immunisations and blood test screening for Faculty of Health students.
We recommend hepatitis B vaccinations for students who may:
- have direct contact with human blood or blood-stained body fluids,
- be exposed to sharp objects with infected blood on them,
- be likely to be bitten by a patient.
For full protection, this vaccination process involves:
- three injections over a period of six months,
- a blood test two months after the third dose to check the vaccinations have worked, providing protection for at least five years, and
- a booster injection after five years for full immunity.
Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)
All students should have a documented history of two doses of the MMR vaccine, which is usually given in early childhood to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
Consult your GP if you're unsure of the vaccinations you have received. They should be able to provide you with a booster if necessary.
Varicella Zoster (VZV) – Chickenpox
Most people are immune to chickenpox after having contact with the virus in childhood. However, if you are a medical or dental student who is:
- unsure whether you've had the virus, or
- travelling to Bristol from overseas,
you will be given a blood test to check your immunity and will be offered the vaccination if it's needed.
Other vaccinations to check with your GP
The following vaccinations are not Occupational Health requirements, but we recommend you check you are up to date with these vaccinations by contacting your GP or the Student Health Centre.
Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP)
All students should have a documented history of five doses of the DTP vaccine.
This is part of the childhood immunisation programme to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, completed by your GP.
If you have a clinical placement within the NHS as a medical or dental student, you will be offered a flu vaccination by the NHS Trust where you are based.
If you have any chronic medical conditions, you should take up the annual flu vaccination offered by your GP.
If you experience health problems that are affecting your studies, you may be referred to Occupation Health by the Faculty of Health or School of Education.
The Occupational Health Service will help you prepare for your elective by certifying occupational vaccination records and carrying out blood tests to meet the health clearance requirements for your host hospital.
Preparing for your elective
Obtaining occupational health clearance for your elective may require you to attend clinics for immunisations or additional tests.
It is imperative that you provide all required information to us at least three months before you intend to leave.
We cannot fast track applications and it is your responsibility to:
- ensure that you attend any appointments and collect test results,
- allow enough time (at least three months) for this process.
Elective health form
You will usually be given a medical elective health form by your host organisation. When you get your form, follow this process:
- Complete as much of your medical elective health form as possible.
- Refer to the occupational immunisation record given to you at the end of your first year. If you are unable to locate this, we keep records for each student and you can request a copy. However, this may slow down the clearance process at busy times.
- Povide your form to the Occupational Health Service together with any information about specific clearance requirements sent by the host hospital for review and certification. It's important that you do this three months before travel.
- We will contact you within five working days to collect your completed form. We may have to arrange an appointment if additional tests are necessary, and if this is the case, it's your responsibility to attend appointments and collect test results.
HIV PEP emergency treatment packs
If your elective placement is in a country where there is a high incidence of HIV, then HIV Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) may be indicated as an emergency treatment if you are potentially exposed to HIV, in order to prevent becoming infected.
Process of obtaining emergency treatment packs:
- You will receive information and advice from faculty about assessing your need for PEP.
- If necessary, the Occupational Health Service will invite you to attend an information and assessment session, then provide you with a private prescription.
- The medication can be obtained from Southmead Hospital Pharmacy for approximately £150.00 and you'll need to cover this cost yourself.
Travel health advice
You need to arrange routine travel immunisations with your GP or travel health provider, allowing sufficient time to complete the immunisation schedules.
You may also require anti-malarial medication for the time you are abroad. These are available over the counter or on private prescription and you'll need to cover the costs related to your travel health requirements.
Read about our Occupational Health travel advice for students. This information relates specifically to student elective placements. For personal travel health advice, contact your GP or travel clinic.
Additional tests for student electives
There are some additional tests that can be provided for student elective placements by the Occupational Health Service.
Host hospitals in countries including Australia and New Zealand require that you are free of MRSA. This can be done for you during a routine booked appointment. The swab is usually taken two weeks after your last contact with a patient, before you go on your elective. Allow up to two weeks for your results.
Blood tests for immunity to infection
Some hospitals may require evidence of immunity to infectious diseases or absence of blood borne viruses. If a blood test is required, an appointment will be made for you and you will be able to collect the results approximately two weeks later.
Advice about immunisations - Hepatitis B