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Health records clerk Medical records clerk

Health records clerks keep people's medical records up to date.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £15,000 to £28,250 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 45 per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll find it useful to have GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths.

Employers value experience of office work, which you could get by temping or volunteering. You may also be able to get an NHS administrative and clerical work placement.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

You'll may need to pass background checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent communication skills
  • the ability to stay calm under pressure
  • IT and administrative skills

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • creating, checking and updating patient records
  • storing test results and letters
  • recording illnesses and treatments using a system of codes known as clinical coding
  • recording patient admissions, transfers, discharges and deaths
  • transferring details from paper records into computer systems
  • collecting statistics like admission numbers, discharges and waiting lists

You may also be responsible for forwarding test samples to laboratories.

If you're based in a GP practice or health centre, you may also be expected to greet patients, book appointments and deal with enquiries from GPs.

4. Salary

Starter: £15,000 to £18,000

Experienced: up to £28,250 (assistant manager)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll normally work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, though your hours may be different if you're based at a GP surgery which has extended hours. If you're based at a hospital you may need to be available for on-call duties and overtime.

You'll spend most of your time at a computer. You could work in an office, a reception area, filing room, medical records library or on a hospital ward.

6. Career path and progression

You can study with the Institute of Health Record Information and Management (IHRIM) for a more senior role or to specialise in areas such as clinical coding.

With qualifications and experience you could become a medical secretary or a health records manager.

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Last updated: 13 September 2017