Health records staff set up, and keep up to date, systems for maintaining all patients’ records. The records may be kept both on paper and on computer.
You could be:
- taking details from patients
- setting up new records on paper or computer
- amending and updating existing records
- recording all communications between patients and health professionals
- filing and storing records so that they can be found easily
- directing patients to the right department or clinic in a hospital or health centre
- dealing with patients and making appointments for them in person or by telephone
- sending patients' medical records to different departments in the hospital and sometimes solicitors, the police or Procurator Fiscal
- recording patient admissions, discharges and deaths.
There are a variety of roles in health records including:
- medical records clerk – provides administrative cover including outpatient reception, making appointments and library storage
- admissions clerk – takes details of patients being admitted to hospital and filing discharge papers
- ward clerk – maintain paperwork, keep records up to date and deal with telephone enquiries on a ward
- clinical clerk – works in maternity clinics answering and dealing with telephone enquiries, filing blood results, forwarding specimens to the laboratory and booking patient appointments
- clinical records officer – works with mental health professionals obtaining, validating and checking patient data before entering it on the computer.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
- where you work
- the department or organisation you work for
- the demand for the job.
Under the NHS Agenda for Change pay scales, salaries for health records staff are on Band 2, £16,532 to £18,903 a year. The current pay scales are from April 2017.
- You would work in an office, records department or reception area in a hospital, health centre or local doctors’ surgery.
- You would normally work regular hours but may have to work evenings and weekends, if for example, you work in admissions.
- There may be opportunities to work part time or flexitime.
- There may be some lifting of document boxes involved.
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- A good general education is useful.
- Some employers may ask for between 2 and 5 subjects at National 4 or 5, including English and Maths.
- You could get in through a Modern Apprenticeship. Entry requirements vary, but usually include National 4 or 5 English.
- It helps to have a knowledge of medical terms.
- Experience in an office or in health care is useful.
- Good IT skills are usually required.
- You would require a satisfactory PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) check to show you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details.
Predicted Employment in Scotland
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What Does it Take?
You should be:
- well organised
- efficient and conscientious
- careful, and able to pay close attention to detail
- able to work calmly when under pressure
- discreet and able to keep records confidential
- good at working in a team
- pleasant, tactful and able to talk to people from all backgrounds, particularly when they are anxious or upset
- able to prioritise your workload.
- You would train on the job under the supervision of experienced members of staff.
- You can study for relevant qualifications while you are working, such as in administration or customer care.
- Modern Apprenticeships involve on the job training leading to either SVQ (Scottish Vocational Qualifications) Healthcare Support (Non-Clinical) at SCQF Level 6 or SVQ Business and Administration at SCQF level 5 or 6.
- You can also study for various qualifications from the Institute of Health Record and Information Management (IHRIM).
- Qualifications from the IHRIM are available at Foundation, Certificate and Diploma level.
- Courses may require part time attendance at college or study through distance learning.
- With experience, you could gain promotion to a supervisory or management post.
- Your promotion prospects may be improved if you take IHRIM qualifications.
- You might move into other NHS roles involving patient contact, such as counselling or patient care.
- With further training, you may be able to become a Medical Secretary or move into related work outside the health sector.
The following organisations may be able to provide further information.
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