Health records clerk

medical records staff

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would keep patients' medical records up to date. You’d make sure that their information is available to doctors and medical staff when they are treating a person.

You’d also keep records of the communications between health professionals about a patient’s treatment.

You would:

  • Greet patients, book appointments and deal with enquiries from GPs (general practioners)
  • Find and check patient records on the computer system
  • Create new records and update existing ones
  • File records
  • Transfer information from paper records into the computer system
  • Send test samples to laboratories
  • Update patients’ records with test results and letters
  • Record illnesses and treatments using a system of codes, known as clinical coding

You would keep a record of all patient admissions, transfers, discharges and deaths. You’d collect statistics such as the number of admissions, discharges and the length of waiting lists.

You might carry out all of these tasks or you could specialise in one area such as filing, admissions or clinical coding.

Respect for confidentiality is very important in this job as you will have access to personal information about people.

You’d also need to be sensitive and tactful in dealing with patient and their relatives, who may be anxious or upset.

You can see more about this role on the Health records staff page on the NHS Careers website.

Working conditions

Hours

In a full-time job you would work 37.5 hours a week. Some hospital departments, particularly accident and emergency, provide a full 24-hour service, so you may sometimes need to be available for on-call duties and overtime. Job-sharing and part-time hours may also be possible.

Environment

You could work in an office, a reception area, filing room, medical records library or on a hospital ward.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Working as part of a team
  • Helping customers
  • Being tactful
  • Accuracy
  • Using computers
  • Paying attention to detail

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

You do not always need formal qualifications to enter this role. Some employers will look for between two and five subjects at National 4 or 5 (SCQF Level 4/5).

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Business
  • ICT
  • Administrative subjects 

You will also need

You may need to pass a Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Disclosure check.

Helpful to have

Qualifications that demonstrate ICT and administrative abilities and knowledge of the health sector such as Skills for Work Health Sector (SCQF Level 4/5).

Previous experience of office work, including word processing and spreadsheet computer packagesP