Heather currently works as a Band 7 Service Manager in digestive diseases.
She joined the Trust nearly 12 years’ ago aged 18 as an apprentice administrator where she undertook a Business Admin Level 2 Apprenticeship whilst working on a clinic reception.
Heather has since taken on a number of different admin roles in various departments and services at the Trust and previously also completed a Business Admin Level 3 Apprenticeship.
Heather says that she likes the apprenticeship scheme as it enables her to work on the job and gain the skills and experience she needs in order to complete the coursework and modules whilst being able to link work back to her role and the experiences she has had or is having.
Heather’s role is very varied and can be dependent on the day but mainly involves her leading a team to ensure tasks are completed. A typical day involves her working closely with consultants to ensure theatre lists and clinic lists are fully utilised. She oversees patients moving through pathways and works alongside other teams to avoid any delays and to look for improvement ideas for patient pathways.
Heather also works on excel spreadsheets and produces PowerPoint presentations for senior members of the team and consultants, enabling discussion to improve and review the service. She is also on a rota to work as Manager of the day which means she manages flow through the hospital for her service to help ensure they have beds for patients coming through theatres and the emergency department.
What advice would you give to others who may be looking to take on an apprenticeship?
I would recommend undertaking an apprenticeship whether you are just finishing school or college and especially if you don’t know what you want to do but you enjoy helping people. An apprenticeship allows you to develop skills and knowledge and can help you to secure the next step in your career.
Heather says that she enjoys working within a hospital setting and being able to help people, and although she is not clinical and works within an admin/manger setting, what she does is very important as she has to ensure patients have a good experience with their care whether this is as an outpatient or inpatient. She also really enjoys working with her colleagues within her team.
As part of her apprenticeship, Heather has 20% off the job learning time and this can involve many things – she has shadowed her manager and joined both her manager and senior colleagues in meetings. She also has research time to help her to study her modules alongside development and training needs which help her with completing her task. She doesn’t need to attend college as all of the work is completed online via Zoom or Microsoft Teams. She meets with her tutor once a month to review her work and she also attends cohorts via Teams with other learners.
When asked what her future intentions were once she completed her apprenticeship, Heather advises that she is hoping to continue to work her way up through Addenbrooke’s to achieve a Band 8 role as well as better her knowledge and skills that can help her to progress at work.