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Moratorium on new applications for doctors to gain appointment/approval under regulations – an update

1 April 2011

Approximately 730 doctors (550 appointed doctors and 180 Approved Medical Examiners of Divers (AMEDs)) are appointed/approved and periodically reviewed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).  Gaining an appointment/approval allows the doctor to conduct medical surveillance/assessment of medical fitness for the purposes of certain statutory requirements.  The main function of medical surveillance/assessment of medical fitness is to safeguard the health of employees who work with particular hazards under certain conditions.

Due to resource constraints, HSE implemented a moratorium on new applications from 1 September 2010.  This will continue until further notice but will be subject to periodic review.

Normally, the employer to whom the regulations apply will initiate a request for a doctor to be appointed/approved.  HSE has never guaranteed acceptance of an application.  However, it is important to ensure those requiring medical surveillance/assessment of medical fitness under regulations do have access to appointed/approved doctors when necessary.

In the first instance, employers that need the services of an appointed doctor should see the list of doctors available on the HSE appointed doctor website. A list of AMEDs is available on the HSE diving website. Appointed doctors and AMEDs are widely distributed within Great Britain

HSE will only consider a new application to appoint/approve a doctor under exceptional circumstances.  For example, if there are no doctors appointed under the relevant regulation that the employer can access within a reasonable geographical area.

Doctors undertaking training (eg, in relation to the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 or the Diving at Work Regulations 1997) should note that successful completion of this training in itself does not guarantee an appointment or approval.  The moratorium will still apply so doctors should consider its implications before arranging any training.

Updated: 2012-05-22