Meet our Staff: Claire, Personal Assistant

When you think of the NHS, your first thought may be nurses, doctors, or other clinical staff. However, there is a whole range of non-clinical roles that are crucial to the day-to-day running of the organisation. 

In this post we hear from one of our administrative colleagues, Claire, who has worked as a Personal Assistant in the Surgery, Anaesthetics and Cancer Division here at SaTH for 10 years, after relocating to the area from the southeast.

"It can be very daunting moving to a new area and I, along with many other staff at SaTH, can understand the feeling of starting again. It is great to work with so many people who grew up in the area; when I started in SaTH my colleagues were able to share their knowledge of areas to live, ideas for days out and tips for the best takeaways!"

Prior to moving to Shropshire, Claire hadn’t worked for the NHS before, but found there were plenty of opportunities to learn and ask questions! "I’ve learnt a lot in my 10 years at SaTH, both through the training courses supported by the Education team and through interacting with others. I’ve shared a lunch table with people I don’t know and heard lots of interesting stories about their jobs or life experiences, I’ve found everyone here to be really welcoming and friendly."

The work of our clinical staff is supported by many non-clinical and administrative roles, from booking and scheduling teams, and receptionists, who are often the first point of contact for patients coming in to the hospital, to coordination teams, medical secretaries, project managers, operational managers and many, many more. Claire's role as a PA sees her interact with people in many other roles, across different departments and levels within the Trust.

"I work alongside different teams who may be working on procuring innovative equipment, or improving patient pathways, managing staffing levels, identifying and submitting key performance data and providing day to day support to their clinical specialities. Every role has a part to play!"

"My role isn’t patient facing and is one of the many roles that supports a team to enable them to be able to focus on their own priorities. My role is varied, and no two days are the same!"

Some examples of Claire's daily tasks include:

  • Organise meetings, take minutes both virtually and face to face and update action logs
  • Book team members onto training courses, arrange appraisals and feedback
  • Order items and track them through to delivery in the appropriate area and then assist the finance team with processing payment
  • Liaise with clinical audit teams to ensure that a patient’s experience is discussed at the appropriate meeting or that a doctor’s audit is presented, this helps us share our learning points and ways of improving the service we provide
  • Work with the recruitment team to advertise vacancies, often being part of the interview panel and help with setting up the new employees’ induction week
  • Organise conferences, book venues, arrange travel and refreshments

"One of my favourite tasks has been designing a “Welcome to our Ward” poster, that detailed cleanliness information, staff training figures alongside a summary of some feedback that the area had received, it was really motivating to read the feedback on a ward and see so many staff singled out for recognition."

Claire enjoys working in her role as she is able to support new ways of working, helping to streamline processes, make suggestions and play her part in the wider team to prioritise excellent patient care. 

"I'm proud of our team and all that we achieve."

We asked Claire if she would recommend the role of a Personal Assistant; "If you're friendly, approachable, organised and enjoy a challenge, then this is the role for you!"

If you're interested in working at SaTH as a Personal Assistant, or in another administrative role, then please check out our current non-clinical vacancies.