Health records and patient administration staff collate, store and retrieve records used in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.It is possible to start in an entry-level post without formal qualifications, but GCSEs or equivalent qualifications are an advantage. Apprenticeships in health informatics are also available. For more senior roles, a degree or equivalent experience might be needed. Some roles may also need an industry qualification such as the Institute of Health Records and Information Management (IHRIM) certificate or diploma. The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme also has a health informatics strand for graduates with relevant degrees.Most education and training jobs in the NHS are covered by Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales. This pay system covers all staff except doctors, dentists and the most senior managers. ICT staff in the NHS will usually work standard hours of 37.5 per week. Terms and conditions for non-NHS employers and contractors will vary.Good communication and team working skills are needed for all roles within health records and patient administration roles. Many roles will also require attention to detail as well as good presentation, IT and organisational skills. You’ll also need to have strong influencing skills and show political awareness and sensitivity, as health is a complex system. You’ll need to be enthusiastic, and be able to work under pressure on your own initiative.There are opportunities to progress your career into senior management roles. Most NHS organisations will now have chief information officers who lead the delivery of knowledge management systems locally. The NHS has also developed training and courses to support you through your career. Many of these will count towards your continuing professional development and may lead to a formal professional qualification.
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