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									                                   Job Description

Job title:                 Medical secretary in the Gynaecology Department

Accountable to:            Deputy General Manager

Managerially (if required) Senior Medical Secretary

Location:             Maternity Department,

(A brief description of the main purpose of the post)

To act as the focal point of communication for the Consultant and his/her team,
confidentiality being the key issue at all times.

To provide a high standard of secretarial and administrative support to the
consultant, junior medical staff and their team and act as the focal point of
communication for this team. To interact with other departments, patients and G.Ps.
To assist in the organisation of the consultant’s workload and ensure effective use
of manpower and resources to assist in the smooth running of the department.

In undertaking the role of Medical Secretary, the post holder will be required to
initiate their own tasks and prioritise work.
(The function of the department in which the post holder works)
The department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology serves an isolated population of
137,000. It is based at the West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven. There were
1252 deliveries in West Cumbria 2004, 97.6% in the maternity department. There is
a 10% assisted vaginal delivery rate and a 22% Caesarean Section rate. The
perinatal mortality rate for 2004 was 4 per 1000. An antenatal and post-natal ward
supports the labour ward. The unit supports and encourages midwifery provided

There is a five-day 12-bedded gynaecology ward providing care for major
gynaecological procedures as well as emergency care and an Early Pregnancy
Assessment service. Over 2700 general gynaecological referrals are seen each
year together with over 600 colposcopy referrals. The department now provides the
urogynaecology service for the whole of North Cumbria. Specialised clinics include
a Rapid Access Clinic, urodynamics, infertility, problem pregnancy and a
postmenopausal clinic. There are also peripheral clinics in Workington, Maryport
and Milllom.

3. ROLE OF DEPARTMENT (continued)
(The function of the department in which the post holder works)
There are three full-time and two part-time Consultants, a Staff Grade, four
Specialised Registrars and two senior house officers, working a 1 in 7 complete
shift, provide the middle grade. There are three senior house officers working in
shifts to cover 9 am to 9 pm.

The department offers consultant provided teaching session three times per week
as well as an academic meeting each Thursday morning. There is a heavy
commitment to risk management with weekly labour ward and risk management
meetings, critical incident reviews, a monthly Risk Education meeting, regular labour
ward meetings and North Cumbria Risk meetings and Labour Ward Forums.
Multiple audits have been undertaken. Every three months an Obstetric emergency
study day is held.

The department is a member of the Family Services Board. One of the consultants
is Chair of the Family Services Board. There is a lead consultant and lead
obstetrician. All are involved in monthly departmental, Family Services Board and
North Cumbria divisional meetings.

(Including in diagrammatic form to whom the post is responsible to and any posts
which are responsible to the post holder)

                                      Chief Executive

             General Manager

                                                            Site Medical Director
             Deputy General Manager

             Senior Secretary

            Medical secretary                           Consultant Obstetrician &
(The range of individuals and organisations the post holder has contact with, how
regularly and for what purpose)
• Nursing/Theatre staff – on a daily basis
• Administration staff – on a daily basis
• Consultants and other junior medical staff – on a daily basis
• Medical Records staff – on a daily basis
• Other medical secretaries – on a daily basis
• Patients – on a daily basis
• General Practitioners – on a daily basis
• Staff at other hospitals – on a daily to weekly basis
• Pathology Department/Radiology Department on a daily to weekly basis
• Ambulance Liaison – on a daily basis
• Medical Representatives – on a weekly to monthly basis
• Clinical coding and Clinical Audit
• Hospital Pharmacy and external Pharmacists
• Trust management and their clerical staff
• Local authorities, Social Services, Police


•   Develop knowledge and understanding of routine secretarial tasks, such as
    arranging and checking appointments for clinics. Provide a complete secretarial
    service including word processing, filing, audio typing, photocopying and the
    composition of letters. Prepare straightforward responses and requests for the
    Consultant and designated medical staff as appropriate.

•   To type clinics, discharge summaries and other internal and external
    correspondence. This is highly specialised medical text and can sometimes be
    of a distressing nature. It can also be difficult to understand because of foreign
    accents. Compose letters in certain situations. This is done using the computer
    with frequent interruptions continually throughout the working day. Ensure
    outgoing correspondence is correct.

•   To provide first point of contact for patients, relatives, GP’s, hospital staff and
    other professional bodies for written and telephone enquiries on behalf of the
    Consultant and their team. Exercise discretion and initiative to ensure that this
    contact is sensitive and effective. This can involve providing and receiving highly
    complex information. Use experience and judgement to establish the validity
    and priority of the contact reducing the Consultants administrative workload
    where possible.

•   Open and action all consultant correspondence and respond accordingly. When
    the consultant is on annual leave the postholder is responsible for incoming
    clinical requests and deciding when to refer to a more senior person.

•   Keep the consultant’s diary and arrange appointments and meetings, co-
    ordinating non-clinical meetings to fit in with clinical commitments.
•   To manage telephone enquiries and enquiries in person from patients and
    patients’ relatives, who can be anxious, distressed and demanding. The ability
    to communicate in an easily understood and informative manner as this can
    often be of an extremely sensitive nature and requires a calm and easily
    understood manner, being as informative, sympathetic and reassuring as

•   Manage and prioritise workload which requires a great deal of concentration and
    working through frequent interruptions which often requires changing task at
    short notice. Set out own priorities without any direct supervision whilst working
    under pressure and to strict deadlines.

•   Management of the Consultant waiting list and undertake all work in support of
    this, being aware of specified time frames, patient requirements (i.e. Consultant
    Anaesthetist and H.D.U. beds) and patient requests (school holidays,
    family/work commitments). Ensure patients are selected in order of priority and
    according to Trust policy. This includes urgent/soon category patients and
    patients listed for routine elective procedures.

•   Ensure maximum use of Trust resources by making sure all theatre lists and
    used to capacity.           Compile theatre lists effectively to avoid wasted
    theatre/consultant time and cancellations, e.g. correct number/type of
    procedures in session and procedures/patients listed in correct order for theatre
    to take account of all relevant factors, e.g. diabetics, general/local anaesthetic,
    first or last on list, morning or afternoon list. Select from waiting list replacement
    patient for any theatre slot that becomes available due to short notice

•   Prepare admission lists by contacting patients and all other relevant parties.
    Arrange transport for patients where appropriate.

•   Monitor and update waiting list information and keep appropriate staff informed
    of any changes.

•   Input information onto the Patient Information Services, Isoft.

•   Input information onto live theatre system (Surgi-Server) to ensure theatre is
    prepared for correct procedure, e.g. correct surgical instrumentation. Produce
    and distribute theatre lists.

•   Deal with situations which require a degree of negotiation\persuasion, e.g.
    request for extra theatre list\ITU bed\Consultant Anaesthetist, or request to
    expedite an urgent investigation.

•   Appropriate filing of letters and laboratory reports in accordance with the Trust
    requirements. Develop knowledge and understanding of high priority reports to
    ensure there is no delay.

•   Manage filing system and responsible for case notes in the postholders
    possession, dealing with them appropriately and sending them to the correct
    department when required, ensuring they reach clinics and wards on time.
•   Make decisions regarding cancellation/reduction of outpatient clinics in
    accordance with staff availability and notify necessary parties in accordance with
    six week clinic cancellation policy.

•   Secretary to the Family Services Board - responsible for co-ordinating papers for
    the meeting, taking and typing the minutes, producing an action plan and
    chasing up the actions thereof. This requires an understanding of the
    management structure and the clinical working practices of the medical staff.

•   Use initiative to take appropriate action as and when required, such as direct
    patient requests for infertility scans and follow-on treatment. Ensure the prompt
    return of all tests and reports required in support of consultant correspondence
    and if necessary expedite with relevant departments. Ensure all results are
    checked and initialled by a member of the medical staff. Inform consultant
    without delay of all tests/reports marked or notified as urgent.

•   Prepare laboratory samples for mailing to an external laboratory, liasing with
    them to ensure its safe arrival and then ensuring the result reaches the patient.
    This sometimes requires extreme sensitivity.

•   Co-ordinate to CEMACH (Confidential Enquiry into Maternal & Child Health) –
    co-ordinator for the Regional Maternity Survey Office of fetal, stillbirth, neonatal
    and post-neonatal deaths identifying which patients fit the inclusion criteria,
    making the Rapid Report initially, followed up with completed Survey Forms and
    subsequent post-mortems, reports etc.          Similarly, coordinating all fetal
    abnormality and congenital malformations for NorCAS and for the Northern
    Multiple Birth Register –report all multiple births identified ante-natally, post-

•   Complete and submit official forms to the Department of Health for certain

•   Type presentations and input databases using different software applications.

•   Make appropriate decisions on behalf of the Consultant with regard to force
    booking “urgent” outpatient appointments to minimise delay for patients. Deal
    with requests/queries from outpatient department regarding outpatient clinic

•   Order stock for stationery, photocopying and fax supplies.

•   Assist in the induction and training of new secretarial staff to the department,
    ensuring updating of the Job Guide, providing support and guidance.
(Who is responsible for setting and reviewing the work, the extent to which the post
holder works unsupervised, and the extent to which they are free to act without
direct reference to a more senior person)

The workload is principally determined by the consultant’s own workload. The
postholder initiates their own tasks, works unsupervised and manages and
prioritises their workload. The postholder is free to act without direct reference to a
more senior person. Once initial training has been completed there is no formal
system in place for reviewing work.


The post holder is expected to:-

        •   adhere to Trust policies and procedures and relevant legislation
            including the requirements of the any professional bodies
        •   attend mandatory training as identified by the Trust


The post holder must maintain the confidentiality of information about patients’ staff
and Trust business in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and Caldicott


Employees must be aware of the responsibilities placed upon them under the Health
& Safety at work Act (1974), to ensure that the agreed safety procedures are carried
out to maintain a safe environment for employees and visitors.


All staff have a responsibility to report all clinical and non-clinical accidents,
incidents or near-misses promptly and when requested to co-operate with any
investigations undertaken.


The Trust has adopted an equal opportunities policy and all employees must be
aware of their obligations to abide by the spirit and nature of the policy to avoid
direct and indirect discrimination.

Post holder’s signature   ………………………………………..

Date                      ………………………………………..

Line Manager’s signature ………………………………………..

Date                      ………………………………………..
                                PERSON SPECIFICATION

                             North Cumbria Health Economy

POST TITLE: Medical Secretary

Factor           Essential                                    Desirable
Qualifications   GCSE English Language (minimum C             Medical Secretary Diploma
                 grade) or equivalent                         Medical Audio Typing
                 Typewriting/Word Processing RSA III or       Medical Word Processing
                 equivalent                                   Shorthand
                 Good educational background                  NVQ3 Business & Admin
Experience       Minimum two years recent secretarial         Medical Secretary experience
                 Working experience of operating word
                 processing and computer packages
Knowledge        Computer literate                            Knowledge of medical terminology
                 Understanding of the requirements of the     Knowledge of Microsoft Office
                 Data Protection Act, Freedom of              Knowledge of PAS
                 Information Act, Access to health Records
                 and Defensible Documentation, Health
                 and Safety and their application in the
Skills and       Excellent communication skills both
Aptitudes        written and verbal
                 Able to analyse complex facts or
                 Able to work on own initiative within team
                 Able to work without supervision
                 Ability to organise and prioritise own
                 Able to work under pressure
Other            Professional approach
requirements     Pleasant Manner
                 Calm under pressure
                 Willing to learn


Post holder                  ………………………………………..

Date                         ………………………………………..

Line Manager                 ………………………………………..

Date                         ………………………………………..

Each of the above points should be considered in the light of minimum requirements listed in
the job description.

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