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Clinical informatics

Clinical informatics staff capture, communicate and use data and clinical knowledge to support health professionals. They also develop and implement a range of digital tools to support this. 

Training and qualifications required

Entry requirements will differ depending on the role. It may be possible to enter an entry level post with no formal qualifications, but GCSEs or equivalent qualifications are an advantage. Apprenticeships in health informatics are also available. Other roles will require very specific professional qualifications such as a medical or nursing degree. The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme also has a health informatics strand for graduates with relevant degree.

Expected working hours and salary range

Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales.This pay system covers all staff except doctors, dentists and the most senior managers. Clinical informatics staff in the NHS will usually work standard hours of 37.5 per week. Terms and conditions can vary for employers outside of the NHS.

Desirable skills and values

You’ll need to be interested in finding ways of improving health services through the imaginative use of data and information. If you have a clinical background, you’ll have a thorough understanding of the how health services operate, while you are likely to be interested in harnessing the power of IT and data. A range of skills are needed for a career in clinical informatics including communication, information gathering, ICT. You’ll also need to be enthusiastic, the ability to work accurately under pressure and on your own initiative and to work in a team.

Prospects

There are a wide range of opportunities, such as clinical audit, as well as openings to develop your own problem-solving projects or research. There are also opportunities to progress your career into senior management roles. Most NHS organisations will now have chief information officers who lead the delivery of ICT systems locally, regionally and nationally. The NHS has developed a number of opportunites to support you as you progress your career in clinical informatics. Many of these will count towards your continuing professional development and may lead to a formal professional qualification.
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