Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the questions below to discover the answer to your question. Should you have a query that is not addressed below, please contact us for further assistance.

Identity cards: What identity cards are acceptable?

We require a photo identity card to ensure that the correct person is attending.

Suitable ID will include passports, driving licences, railway work permit passes, Lucas cards, international ID cards, CIS cards, firearm certificates or work ID cards.

Rail and bus travel passes are not acceptable.


National Insurance Numbers: Why are National Insurance Numbers required?

The Network Rail standards require that we obtain the candidate's National Insurance Number for identification purposes. We have been asked by some employers to obtain a NI number for the same reason. If a candidate does not have their National Insurance number with them at their appointment they must phone Express Medicals Head Office as soon as possible and supply it.

National Insurance numbers are not required for vaccinations.


London Underground Medicals: Are there any special instructions?

The candidate should bring form TSW028 already completed with sponsor details. A copy of the form should be provided by the sponsor. A copy of the form can be provided by Express Medicals. However, the candidate will need to have all the sponsor details for the top of the form.

The name of the sponsoring company must be inserted on both the medical certificate and drug & alcohol certificate. Without this information we cannot issue either certificate.


Doctor Review Medical/Back to work medicals: What will a fitness/return to work medical consist of?

This type of medical is used to assess whether an individual is fit to work and to provide recommendations for a prompt and safe return to work. The candidate will see an occupational physician to discuss the specific circumstances of the referral. The employing company will be required to complete a management referral form for the individual. Please provide as much detail as possible to ensure that the physician has enough information to make an informed decision. The physician may need to liaise with GPs and specialists to gather further information. In order to gain access to the candidate's medical records, the individual would need to fill out a consent form. The findings and recommendations will be presented back to the employer in the form of a comprehensive written report.
Fitness/return to work medical assessments by occupational physicians are available at our London, Derby and Stoke centres , alongside a national network of associated medical centres.

Blood Tests: Will the candidate be able to eat before the test?

Glucose or cholesterol blood tests require individuals to fast for approximately 12 hours before the appointment.

Please ask a member of staff about whether fasting is required before a blood test.

Depending on what tests are undertaken, results will be available between 5 and 10 days later.

Medical confidentiality: What medical information can Express Medicals pass to my employer?

Due to medical confidentiality we cannot discuss the reasons for a fail or deferred decision with anybody but the candidate, except to tell their employer/potential employer whether it relates to general health, sight or hearing (unless we have the written consent of the candidate).

Appointment times: Can I amend an appointment time?

Any amendments to booking times must be arranged through the person or company who made the booking, i.e. the bill payer.

We reserve the right to refuse candidates who arrive late or do not have an appointment. We shall strive to see late arrivals, but the candidate will have to wait until there is a gap in the appointment schedule.

Cancellations and amendments of less than one clear working day before the booking may be subject to the full charge of the booking value.

Appointment Durations: How long will my appointment last?

Appointment durations vary from medical to medical, and may be longer or shorter depending on the health and age of the candidate. The times for the principal medicals are:-

Drug and alcohol testing 10 minutes
Railway Medicals 20 minutes
Fitness to work medicals 30/60mins
Other medicals 30 to 60 minutes (generally)
Blood Tests 10 minutes
Vaccinations 10 minutes

Geographical cover: Can Express Medicals provide services in locations outside the UK?

We can provide many of our services in locations outside the UK upon request. Please call Head Office for more information on availability and pricing.

Parking: Is there parking at Express Medicals clinics?

There is parking available for the use of candidates at all our clinics.

Railway Medicals: What information is required for a railway medical?

These are to ensure the worker can look after their own safety whilst working trackside.

The candidate will be asked about the following information when attending a medical examination:-


  • Any recent and/or regular medication?
  • Any side-effects from medication?
  • Any history of drug and/or alcohol abuse?
  • Any history of diabetes, epilepsy, high blood pressure, heart disease/"mini-stroke" or serious illnesses?
  • Any operations?
  • Any previous episodes of dizziness, giddiness, collapse and/or loss of consciousness?
  • Any vertigo ("the room spinning around you")?
  • Any history of hearing difficulties? Do you wear a hearing aid?
  • Any history of eyesight problems? Do you wear glasses or contact lenses?
  • Any history of asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and/or breathing problems.
  • Any impaired concentration?
  • Any joint and/or muscle problems? If so, to what extent do they affect your general agility/mobility?
  • Any history of psychiatric illness (e.g. depression) and/or psychological problems?

Please remember to bring your glasses/contact lenses with you.

Hearing aids cannot be worn during the hearing examination.

You will be asked these questions in a professional and confidential manner by a trained nurse or doctor.

Your examination will include an eye test, colour vision test, hearing test, blood pressure and pulse measurement, a urine sample (to screen for diabetes) and a simple general examination. In some cases an easy lung function test is also conducted.

If you are worried about your medical examination please speak to a member of staff prior to your appointment.

If you do not meet the standard immediately, the nurse and / or doctor will discuss the matter with the candidate and explain to them the reason for the fail/deferral. In most cases they will give you a letter to take to your relevant health advisor (GP/specialist/optician).

When supporting documentation from the relevant health advisor has been received by us an occupational physician will review it and, providing the information is satisfactory, a pass certificate will be issued. Any queries with regards to failed or deferred medicals can be directed to our Medical Administration Team.


Drug & Alcohol Tests: How are these conducted?

A drug and alcohol test is usually done by means of a breath test and the collection of a urine sample where a chain of custody procedure is maintained. The chain of custody refers to the ability to guarantee the identity and integrity of the specimen from collection through to reporting of the test results. You will sign to declare that the chain of custody is met and that you consent to your sample being analysed. Your specimen will not be analysed without your consent.

The laboratory will refuse to test any sample where the chain of custody is not fully met or has been breached. When your sample is taken, the collection officer will ask if you have taken any medication within the last 14 days. Failure to provide such details may result in a delay in the test results.

We recommend that candidates do not eat, drink or smoke 15 minutes before their test is due as this can affect the breathalyser result.

The list of drugs tested and cut-off levels will vary from standard to standard. Network Rail and London Underground do not test for exactly the same drugs. If you require both tests, you will need to book two separate drugs and alcohol tests. We can also undertake tests to other standards as required by the customer.

Hair and oral fluid testing is also available.


Drug and Alcohol tests: When can I expect to receive my results?

Results will be sent by post three working days later if a negative sample has been given. (i.e. a sample where no medication or other drug ingestion has taken place) When a sample contains anything that may produce unexplained results, the sample is further analysed to ensure that a correct, accurate result is given. In many instances this may be because a candidate has failed to mention medication that he or she has taken. We call these pending results and we will notify sponsors/employers of such results as soon as possible. Pending results can take up to a further week to come back from the laboratory. No assumption of "pass" or "fail" should be made until Express Medicals has confirmed the result.

Fastrack results - For a small additional fee, negative results can be emailed the following working day after 4pm. This applies to negative samples only.

Payment Terms: Do I need an account to book with Express Medicals?

Generally we accept bookings from individuals and companies without an account with Express Medicals. Such bookings will need to be supported with a credit/debit card.

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