7 June 2022

Clinical Coder Apprenticeship helps NHS Trust overcome workforce pressures

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, Somerset NHS Foundation Trust was able to support under-pressure medical teams by training an existing team member with a clinical coding apprenticeship.  

Clinical Coders are responsible for the effective management of patient information, coding medical notes and accurately recording and analysing patient data.  

The Trust reached out to Skills Training UK, a leading NHS Apprenticeship provider and national Health Education England Partner of choice, to help them upskill an existing member of the administrative team and launch his clinical coding career. 

Rachel Darby, Clinical Coding Trainer and Operations Manager at Somerset Foundation Trust, said: “The programme covers strong theoretical elements of Clinical Coding such as the importance of accuracy and consistency in recording data and what we use the data for. 

“This isn’t typically covered in a standard Clinical Coding course, mainly due to time and the intensity of the practical coding undertaking, so to have a programme that can encompass both elements and underpin the theory is invaluable.  

“The fact that Skills Training UK was a Health Education England Partner of Choice also helped re-assure us of their expertise.” 

Jake Quick was initially working within the Trust’s coding team as an Administrative Assistant before seeing the 18-month Apprenticeship as a great opportunity to grow in his career. 

Eight months into the role, Jake has enjoyed the structured approach to learning and is excited at his prospects within the Trust.  

I learn something new about my role every day and I’m now in a place where I can talk more confidently about my role with other departments across the Trust. The tutor from Skills Training has also been brilliant and both the theoretical and practical Clinical Coding Standard course has been well structured and flexible to fit around my working hours.  

The qualification I will get from the Apprenticeship will mean that I am further on in my career within the NHS, while also fully preparing me ahead of my final Clinical Coding exam.” 

Looking to the future, the NHS Trust sees the Clinical Coding Apprenticeship as key to workforce development within the department and plans to use the course to retain and empower existing teams through further upskilling.   

Stephen Crawley, Chief Operating Officer at Skills Training UK added; “Through our experience of working with over 45 NHS Trusts, we know the value that apprenticeships can bring to addressing staffing pressures.  

The majority of NHS Trusts will be paying a mandatory Apprenticeship Levy tax, so using Apprenticeship training to upskill and introduce new members can be a cost-effective training solution while boosting relevant skills and qualifications in key areas.” 

Visit our webpage to learn more about the Clinical Coder Apprenticeship and wider programmes available to NHS Trusts. 

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