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Breaking into coding

29 Jul 2020 15:29:01
Clinical coding apprentices

The Trust has welcomed two new Clinical Coding Apprentices to the team. 

Hannah Webb and Kitty Jennings have joined the Clinical Coding Team as Apprentice Clinical Coders and are now enrolled onto the Clinical Coding Level 3 Apprenticeship Programme. The pair are excited to be starting their career pathway in Clinical Coding. 

The new clinical coding apprenticeship, which is a first for the Trust, is designed to introduce the career to prospective coders and boost the existing team. 

Lisa Simpson and Lauren Saxton, Clinical Information Assurance Leads, said: “We are proud to be part of the first regional cohort of Trusts recruiting and developing a route into the coding world via an apprenticeship along with Barnsley Hospital, Sheffield Children’s Hospital, University of Derby and Burton Hospital.” 

Martin Clarke, Health Informatics Service Manager, said due to the Covid-19 situation the team had to think of different ways of recruiting new members. 

He said: “We had to quickly develop new processes to continue with our recruitment process. Lisa and Lauren conducted interviews for our apprentice post via MS Teams along with a timed test on 7 April 2020. We successfully appointed two candidates into Coding Apprentice posts. The approach we developed has now been adopted and utilised by the Trust as a ways and means of being able to continue to recruit staff in a safe and effective manner. Neighbouring Trusts have sought advice and guidance on how to take on this approach and have now embedded it into their Trusts.” 

Graham Travis, Apprenticeship Manager, said it was a completely new apprenticeship for the Trust. He added: “It has helped support the Coding Team fill positions they would normally struggle to find qualified staff for if advertised externally. “Martin, Lauren and Lisa have been an excellent driving force behind the recruitment of the apprentices alongside the support of Health Education England. They successfully advertised for a new apprentice recruit and have also used the opportunity to upskill an existing Trust member of staff utilising the apprenticeship levy. 

“Working in collaboration with other local Trusts such as Barnsley, Sheffield Children’s and Derby and Burton, we are hoping for a great working relationship with a new apprenticeship Training Provider Skills Training UK after the apprentices were enrolled in June. 

“As a Trust we’ve expanded our offer of apprenticeships in a variety of departments and will continue to support new and existing members of staff with the funding available through the apprenticeship levy.”