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National Administrator Professionals Day

25 April 2023

Wednesday 26 April is National Administrative Professionals Day – a chance to celebrate all our brilliant admin and clerical colleagues who deliver crucial services across Sheffield Children’s. From Clinical Coders to Medical Secretaries, Ward Clerks to Receptionists  – our admin and clerical colleagues provide varied and crucial support to help us be a Brilliant Place to Work.

Craig Radford, Chief Operating Officer said: “The diverse roles that all admin and clerical colleagues play across the organisation is so important to the care we are able to provide to our patients and families. Often the first point of contact for patients and families is with our booking teams, our receptionists, our ward clerks or our secretaries and the impact that has on our patients experience and care cannot be understated. Whether you are directly in contact with patients every day or have a role that supports clinical and managerial colleagues to provide the best care possible, please know that each and every one of you make a significant contribution to the organisation and to our patients.   Thank you for everything that you all do, you are all amazing!!! Happy Administrative Professionals Day.”

Meet some of our admin and clerical colleagues below!

Lilia Smith – Business Apprentice

Tell us about your career journey

A woman sit behind a computer in a hospital entrance. She has a blue lanyard, glasses and blonde hair tied up.

“In September 2022 I began working for the Outpatients department as an apprentice in customer service. Prior to this, I worked as a part-time employee at an electroplating firm where I spoke with customers on the phone and face to face while studying A Levels in psychology, health and social, and photography. As a result of this, I came to the realisation that I liked working in customer service and that I wanted to pursue this as my full-time profession.

“Since I’ve always been aware of how much the NHS benefits people and what a great service it offers, I’ve always loved the idea of working for the organisation. I am hoping that the experience and knowledge I acquire during my apprenticeship will lead to a successful career working for the NHS.”

What does your role involve?

“My role involves working on the Outpatients Hub, which is a very busy and fast paced environment where I have to check patients in for appointments, help patients and visitors with any inquiries they may have, book appointments and ensure that all the clinics operate efficiently. I also work on reception at various locations including Ryegate, Centenary House, Haematology and Oncology and Outpatients 2 at the Northern General Hospital. As part of my apprenticeship, I attend college where I am studying for a qualification in Customer Service Level 2. The college courses I am taking help me in my role and broaden my understanding of customer service.”

In your role, what are you most proud of?

“I am proud to be employed by the NHS and feel that my efforts are helping patients and their parents and carers in having a positive experience while visiting the Outpatients department during what could otherwise be a very stressful time for them. I feel like I’ve adapted to the department quickly, and I’m happy that I get to make a difference in people’s lives.”

Simon Hogg – Clinical Applications Trainer

Tell us about your career journey

“My background was nine years as a Lecturer in Access to Science and Health Professions in Further Education. This gave me an excellent grounding in preparing teaching and training resources for adult learners within a health and care setting. Being a teacher, I’ve learned to reflect and adapt my methods in finding what works best to engage people to help them learn the best and to also understand and challenge barriers to learning and change. I love anything digital and I’ve always been an advocate for technology that improves working practices – that very much feeds into the methods I use to try to reach people, maximise engagement and make learning new things more fun.”A man stands facing the camera smiling. He is wearing a black jumper.

What does your role involve?

“My role involves face to face training of clinical systems for new and existing staff. I’m also part of the team involved in testing and rolling out new clinical systems, like Connect and more recently, Vitals, Flow and EPMA. I create paper and digital guides and my current goal is to reach more people with more advanced and engaging video tutorials with interactive elements and quizzes.”

In your role, what are you most proud of?

“I’m most proud of the times I’ve helped someone lose their fear of technology and overcome the initial frustration of learning a new way of working. I’ve even had some of the most ardent technophobes become enthusiastic ‘Super Users’ who’ve gone on to teach and help others with similar fears and misgivings. A random survey of staff who attended the last Caring Together event showed that 70% felt that digital systems had “made their jobs easier”, a most encouraging statistic, but one that reveals that there’s still work to do!”

Sarah Young – Ward Clerk Team Leader

Tell us about your career journey

“I have worked at Sheffield Children’s for 30 years this year. I joined on 5 July 1993 (the NHS’s Birthday!) and was only meant to work here for six months – it has turned out to be aA woman stands in a pink flowery dress smiling at the camera. She is holding a framed certificate and smiling. lot longer than that!

“I was first employed as a Ward Assistant on the legendary old Ward 10. A Ward Assistant was a bit of mix of a Support Worker role and a Ward Clerk role. I left Ward 10 when it closed in October 1998. I then joined Ward 6 as their Ward Clerk in November 1998, where I have been based since.

What does your role involve?

“My role involves ensuring all the admin work is completed on a daily basis including an accurate bed state first thing in the morning, checking patient details and ensuring the parents and carers have the offers they are entitled to, such as long-term parking discounts and meal vouchers. I also look after the reception for the ward, answering calls and greeting people.

“For the past five years I have been the Ward Clerk Team Leader, so this involves training and looking after the pastoral care of the rest of the team. I am always approachable and look after all our families to the best of my ability on the ward, as well as doing extra jobs for the team as needed.”

In your role, what are you most proud of?

“I think my two proudest achievements in the Trust are –

  • the Ward 6 wedding a few years ago where we arranged for the parents of a patient to have their wedding party and a blessing on the ward at the hospital as they had to cancel their celebrations due to their child being so unwell.
  • last year I was honoured to receive the National Admin Day award for the Trust following nomination by colleagues. They said some brilliant things about me, and I was proud to think that I was thought about in that way.
Ben Storm – Validation Officer
A man is smiling in front of a computer screen. He is wearing a blue lanyard.

Tell us about your career journey

“After working in retail and customer services for several years, I realised that I was at my happiest when I was helping people. This made me start looking at what I could do in the NHS and I started as an Outpatient Booking Clerk at Sheffield Children’s in 2019.

“The hospital is quite special to me as my brother received life changing treatment as an infant and I would often be with him when he had Outpatient appointments. After just over a year I was redeployed to the Performance team in my current role for six months. I then started a secondment with Performance and two years ago I became a permanent member of the team.”

What does your role involve?

“As a Validator in the Performance team I am responsible for maintaining the data quality of our patient’s treatment pathways. When a patient is referred to us, we check that their referral source and date are correct, and from here we use documentation and data from clinics and internal systems to make sure that their pathway is recorded correctly.

“This gives us accurate data telling us how long a patient has waited for treatment which is then used by teams across the Trust to inform their planning for Outpatient clinics and waiting lists, track long waiters and complex patients, and ensures that we are submitting accurate data to NHS England. We also work with Operational Managers, Outpatients and Waiting List Co-ordinators directly to try and get the best outcomes for patients.”

In your role, what are you most proud of?

“I am proud of the hard work our team does in the Trust to help ensure data quality and uphold our Trust values.”

Shirley Kirkland – Race Diversity Experience Project Lead

Shirley has worked at Sheffield Children’s since 2000. After 21 years working as a Health Visitor in our 0-19 team, Shirley moved roles from a clinical position to an admin position when she became our Race Experience Project Lead in 2021.

As we celebrate National Admin Day, we’re also saying goodbye to Shirley as today is her last day with us! Shirley is moving on to an exciting new role at RDASH where she will be using the skills and leadership qualities she’s developed in her admin role throughout the last few years. Good luck with your new position Shirley and thank you for everA woman with black hair is smiling at the camera. She wears a blue fluffy jacket and a blue lanyard.ything!

Here’s what some of Shirley’s colleagues had to say about her…

“The Race Experience Project has given us an insight into the working experience of colleagues from diverse ethnic backgrounds at Sheffield Children’s. Shirley has worked so hard and been so great at giving colleagues the space to share these experiences, which often feature sensitive information or information that’s hard to hear, in a way that is safe, supportive and encouraging.

“Some of Shirley’s highlights have been presenting to over 500 people at the 2022 Caring Together Summit, hosting lots of webinars, and providing amazing leadership as Co-Chair of the Race Equality Network where she has increased exposure, membership and influence of the network.

“Shirley has been such a valuable colleague within our 0-19 Service and has been a positive role model who will truly be missed. Shirley has shown total dedication and commitment in caring for children, young people and families in Sheffield, sensitively identifying and supporting their needs. She has demonstrated inclusive leadership throughout, and we all wish her well in her new role.”

Thomas Nicholls – Ward Clerk

Tell us about your career journey

“I first started at Sheffield Children’s part time on the Burns Ward, back in 2017, and I also did some cover work on ICU. During my time here so far, I’ve worked on all the inpatient wards, as well as TAU and Medical Day Care.”

What does your role involve?

“As Ward Clerks, we do paperwork, manage the phones, monitor the door, deaA man is smiling at the camera. He wear a light blue shirt. l with patient and parent/carer queries – all our work helps make sure the doctors and nurses can spend as much time as possible with patients.

“Additionally to that, I’m also the main person on the ward who fixes the patient bedhead televisions, helps various levels of staff with technical problems, IT access, trains people to use the Vocera communicator, enables or make changes to their Vocera access, and liaises with the IT department with regards to system implementations. I’ve also been involved in onboarding of new staff, and I occasionally play music to patients.”

In your role, what are you most proud of?

“I’m most proud of the rapport I build with parents and patients. Being the first person people see when they come onto the ward, it’s important to give a positive impression, especially to young patients who might be nervous about coming in. One of the best ways to reassure them is to present a cheerful and competent demeanour and give them the confidence that they’ll be looked after. This is usually best achieved by taking the time to listen to their questions and concerns, even if the ward is clearly busy. It gives parents/carers the confidence that if they have concerns, those concerns will be addressed, and that the ward takes them and the child in their care seriously.”

Laura Terry – Senior Clinical Coder

Tell us about your career journey

“For a long time, I worked taking 999 calls for an ambulance service and heard the first moments of the worst days of people’s lives, as well as the best days when a baby is delivered, and everything in between. After a while I found an advert for clinical coding and when I looked into it, I thought it would satisfy my thirst for helping people and increasing my knowledge about the human body without having the pressure of an emergency situation. And there were no night shifts!”

What does your role involve?

“On a typical day I will sit down at my desk and bring up a list of patients who have been discharged over the previous few days. I will read all the handwritten notes, look at any radiology reports, histology reports, theatre operation documents, letters and anything else that I can find. When I see an illness, injury, operation, procedure, treatment, or symptom the patient has received care for I will look up the term in our index of diseases and other health related problems and assign the code that it tells me.The person smiles at the camera. They have glasses and a hat and curly hair.

“These codes are entered onto the coding software and can then be used for statistical and clinical purposes, to easily see how many patients may have broken their arm in a certain time period, or for clinical audit for example. There are lots of rules to follow to assign the correct codes and I correspond with consultants, nurses, managers, doctors and anyone else I need to so I can clarify what has happened with this patient to fully describe their stay. Once an episode is coded it will generate a figure that corresponds with the funding the hospital will get for this particular stay, so accuracy is paramount.”

As a Clinical Coder, what are you most proud of?

“I’m proud of the effort, knowledge and work that I and my colleagues put in every day to ensure that the data is accurate and the right funding is allocated. We are vital in the community network working with all the other teams to achieve the common goal, which is helping sick children and young people now and in the future.”

Heather Cassim – Bookings Coordinator

Tell us about your career journey

“I left education in 2002 and spent most of my early career working for a communications provider, starting in a contact centre role, and progressing to become a Product Manager (and occasional Project Manager). I followed the product management career for 8 years until early 2020 when COVID made a lot of us evaluate our career and lifestyle choices. It became clear to me was that I wanted a job where I could help others and make a tangible difference, so I took the leap to completely change my career path and find a role within the NHS. It was a scary decision but one I’m very glad I made.

“I was fortunate enough to be offered a Waiting List Coordinator role, initially in Surgical and Critical Care then later in Medical. The Waiting List team are dedicated, hardworking and have an abundance of knowledge; qualities that I know are present across the whole Trust. I love being a part of a busy team that gets to work closely with the clinical staff to deliver excellent care to our patients and their families.”

What does your role involve?A selfie photo of a person smiling. They have a full fringe and a patterned top.

“My first role at Sheffield Children’s was working with the Urology nurses and Urology consultants. In November, I took a role in Medicine as the Gastroenterology Waiting List Coordinator booking endoscopies, colonoscopies, gastroscopies as well as a variety of other pioneering procedures. I work closely with the Gastroenterology doctors and wider clinical staff daily to organise theatre lists, make the best use of clinician time and resources whilst ensuring patients are scheduled in accordance with their clinical urgency.

“I speak with families to book their children’s theatre procedures; answering questions, alerting TAU to additional support needs, offering reassurance, and making sure families feel they have all the information they need ahead of time. I have opportunities to learn and develop continuously and I feel a real sense of achievement at the end of the week, knowing I have made a positive difference for families and the Trust.”

In your role, what are you most proud of?

“I am most proud of the times where the team overcome adversity to get children the care that they need. It can be a challenging environment with rapid changes and obstacles arising, but I am always impressed by the dedication of the team and their drive to provide the best possible care.”

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