My name is Jim and for the last 18 months I have been a trainer for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust. I am due to move on to pastures new but I thought I would share some of my thoughts.
I was brought in to assist in the Trust’s new computerised Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system.
The training started in June last year leading up to the “Go Live” at the end of September.
With approximately 14,000 staff to train this was some task to achieve. Having trained a good number of staff and supported them throughout the whole process, it is easy to see how vitally important the roll of the admin staff is.
We may have heard politicians and others claim that the junior doctors are the lifeblood of the NHS and this is no doubt the case, and let us not forget the exceptional efforts of all nursing staff who have a wonderful vocation to help others.
However, before a member of the nursing staff or a junior doctor gets anywhere near a patient, there has been much more input from the admin and clerical staff.
Obviously any emergencies will be seen by medical staff first but the admin and clerical staff are still involved in this process somewhere down the line. Very few departments in the Trust can function without these people.
Many of them start early to catch up on the previous day’s workload and just as many are late leaving to ensure they have where possible finished all the tasks for that day.
Some may complain, as we all do from time to time, but this does not stop many of them working many more hours than they are paid for. They may be employed by the NHS but they all work for the patients,.
To say that the last year has been a challenge may be an understatement, but they still come to work and they still strive to do all they can for all patients, so while you may be waiting at the reception desk for a follow-up appointment to be booked or waiting for your appointment letter to arrive in the post, please just spare a thought for the admin staff who can have a vast number of patients to look after.
It is not the fault of the admin staff if your wait is longer than expected.
This maybe the first Hospital Trust I have worked for but I am sure that the admin and clerical staff countrywide are the same.
So when you attend the Trust for any reason, remember that much more work may have been done to get you there.
So, as vitally important as all medical staff are, the other unsung heroes, well, you know who you are…