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Job Photographs

  • A woman stands between two tall banks of shelves, both full of paper documents.  She is taking one of the documents from the shelf on the left.

    Finding a patient's file in the records library.

  • A woman speaks on a telephone; she is making notes on a piece of paper on the desk in front of her.

    Trying to track down a patient's records with another hospital.

  • A woman sits at a desk, looking at a folder of handwritten papers.

    Checking a patient's records for details of their last appointment.

  • A woman wearing a white uniform sits behind a large reception desk.  Another woman stands on the other side of the desk, handing over a paper folder.  People are sitting in a waiting area behind them.

    Taking a patient's records to reception.

  • A woman sits behind a desk on which there is a computer, a printer and a box full of paper records.  A woman who is standing next to her is handing her a folder of papers.

    Giving a doctor some patient records she has requested.

  • A woman sits at a desk, using a computer.  Behind her are desks piled high with paper documents.  There are more documents piled up on the floor.

    Updating records held on the computer.

  • Health Records Officer

  • Health Records Officer

Health Records Officer

Introduction

Health records staff collate, store and retrieve records used in diagnosis and treatment. This is a critical role in the NHS due to the vast number of healthcare professionals involved in a patient’s care who need access to this vital information at a moment’s notice.

You will also promote and support the effective use of data, information, knowledge and technology within the NHS to support and improve health and the delivery of patient care.

Also known as

  • Clerk, Health Records
  • Medical Records Clerk
  • Health Records Staff

Video: - Nicky: Medical Records Clerk

Work Activities

As a Health Records Officer, you will collect, organise, store and retrieve records used in diagnosis and treatment.

You will also promote and support the effective use of data, information, knowledge and technology within the NHS to support and improve health and the delivery of patient care.

If you choose to work in Health Records, then you could perform one of the following roles:

Health Records Assistant

As a Health Records Assistant, you will undertake routine administrative work in relation to health records. This might include:

  • locating, retrieving, tracking and delivering patients’ health records and case notes
  • maintaining patient records and case notes
  • filing patient records and case notes
  • maintaining patient confidentiality
  • participating in audits of patient records

Health Records Officer

As a Health Records Officer, you will have responsibility for specific areas within a health records department. This may include:

  • the direct line management of the health records staff
  • the operational management of health records in a department
  • contributing to the development of policies, procedures and practices relating to health records
  • assisting in the development of health record audits

Health Records Manager

As a Health Records Manager, you will be responsible for the overall management, performance and development of the health records service in an organisation or department. This may include:

  • communicating and negotiating difficult issues with senior management and clinical staff
  • improving the quality of the service
  • financial planning
  • ensuring quality standards are maintained
  • providing advice and guidance to a range of people on all aspects of health records

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

There are certain skills and qualities that you may find useful in pursuing a career in health records:

  • communication - some roles will have contact with patients, so effective skills in communicating information to colleagues, patients, clients, their relatives and carers will be required
  • information gathering and organisation - many roles require good presentation and organisational skills such as knowledge management positions
  • information technology - you will need good technical skills and an ability to diagnose problems in a systematic manner
  • numeracy - high-level numeracy or analytical skills are key to many management roles

Above all you need enthusiasm, the ability to work accurately under pressure and on your own initiative and to work in a team.

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

NHS employees are paid on a rising scale from the Agenda for Change.

  • Starting - Band 2: £17,652 - £19,020
  • With experience - Band 3: £18,813 - £20,795

Hours of work

Most Health Records Officers work 37.5 hours, Monday to Friday. Full-time, part-time, temporary and flexible working arrangements might be available. In hospital accident and emergency departments, some evening and shift work could be required.

Where could I work?

Employers include the NHS (in hospital wards, reception areas and offices, and in health centres), and private hospitals.

Opportunities occur in towns and cities throughout the country.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised on the NHS Jobs website, in local/national newspapers, on Find a Job, on job boards and at Jobcentre Plus.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

You don't need A levels in order to become a Health Records Officer. However, A levels and relevant work experience could help you to eventually progress to become a Health Records Manager.

You will need to start carefully planning which A levels you are going to study. Then once you are studying for your A levels, you will need to start looking for suitable job vacancies.

Work Experience

Some entrants have relevant skills in, for example, clerical and administrative work. In particular, keyboard skills would be helpful.

Progression

Health Records Officers can progress to health records management posts after further training and experience. Some might move into clinical coding, medical reception or secretarial careers.

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act

Health Records Assistants,Officers or Managers are an exception to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This means that you must supply information to an employer about any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings, if they ask you to. This is different from other careers, where you only have to reveal information on unspent convictions if you are asked to.

Qualifications

To get onto an Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you’ll usually need five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, possibly including English and maths.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Entry

Some entrants have relevant skills in, for example, clerical and administrative work. In particular, keyboard skills would be helpful.

You might be able to enter through an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship or an Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Healthcare Support Services.

Statistics

  • 28% of people who work in occupations such as health records clerk work part-time.
  • 23% have flexible hours.
  • 9% of employees work on a temporary basis.

Further Information

Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Tel: 0800 015 0400

Email: nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

Website: www.apprenticeships.org.uk

Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 9178000

Email: info@skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk

Website: www.myworldofwork.co.uk/modernapprenticeships

City & Guilds

Address: 1 Giltspur Street, London EC1A 9DD

Tel: 020 7294 2468

Email: learnersupport@cityandguilds.com

Website: www.cityandguilds.com

NHS Wales Careers

Publisher: National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Healthcare

Email: abm.wedsteam@wales.nhs.uk

Website: www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/829/page/36090

NHS Jobs

Website: www.jobs.nhs.uk

Step into the NHS

NHS careers

Tel: 0345 6060655

Website: www.stepintothenhs.nhs.uk

Skills for Health

Skills for the health sector

Address: Goldsmiths House, Broad Plain, Bristol BS2 0JP

Tel: 0117 9221155

Email: office@skillsforhealth.org.uk

Website: www.skillsforhealth.org.uk

Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Managers, Administrators and Receptionists (AMSPAR)

Tel: 020 7387 6005

Email: info@amspar.com

Website: www.amspar.com

Institute of Health Records and Information Management (IHRIM)

Address: Ground Floor Office Suite, Marshall House, Heanor Gate Road, Heanor, Derbyshire DE75 7RG

Tel: 01773 713927

Email: ihrim@zen.co.uk

Website: www.ihrim.co.uk

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

People Exchange Cymru (PEC)

Public sector recruitment portal for Wales

Email: peopleexchangecymru@gov.wales

Website: www.peopleexchangecymru.org.uk/home

Croeso i Gyrfa Cymru

Dewiswch iaith

Cymraeg

Welcome to Careers Wales

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