Real-life story - Lydia Wager
After completing an extended diploma in business studies, Lydia found that she loved working in a team but also enjoyed tackling her own projects. She quickly found that a career in finance was right for her.
What I do
I’m currently working in a band 4 role, covering a colleague’s maternity leave as income and costing accountancy assistant.
Working in finance, the months come around in a similar routine and everyone in the team has their own monthly tasks. I am responsible for costing the non-Payment by Results data each month for treatments like critical care, rehabilitation, pacemakers and renal dialysis. I also prepare invoice data for care provided to patients from outside Cornwall. In short, most of my job is preparing data so that our commissioners (the people who ‘buy’ services from the trust for their patients) pay us each month!
The best bits and challenges
I find my job very satisfying. I love working in a team but working independently on my own tasks is also very fulfilling. Being able to relate my work to helping someone in the hospital is the driving force for me, and it’s lovely to know that, every day, I am developing a successful career at the same time as making a positive difference to someone else.
How I got in
My career to date has been relatively short. I did a course in business studies, book-keeping and accounts part-time while working as a hotel housekeeper and waitress, and decided a finance career was for me.
I chose the apprenticeship route because I knew it would provide a gateway to an NHS career. It was an amazing opportunity to gain workplace experience, while achieving a qualification and earning a salary.
I was lucky enough to get a management accounts and income clerk apprenticeship at Royal Cornwall Hospital and then a band 2 permanent role in the income and costing team. I was responsible for preparing the monthly accounts and raising invoices and provided administrative support, inputting, retrieving and collecting confidential data. The work involved communicating effectively with people from both within the hospital and externally.