• Question: What could you inform me about appointment scheduling? Are there any positives and negatives about working as an appointment scheduling coordinator?

    Asked by hang11met on 3 Apr 2023.
    • Photo: Sarah Chalmers-Page

      Sarah Chalmers-Page answered on 3 Apr 2023:

      Like all NHS administrative jobs, there are lots of positives, and a few harder aspects to the role.

      I think the first thing is that compared to the private sector, you are doing a job that helps people. It might not be as obvious how as if you are a nurse, but you are a vital part of the system that gets people into hospital and gets them the help you need. Personally, I find it easier to deal with the rough patches that any job has if I know I am doing some good! NHS jobs tend to be reasonably good packages – decent pay, and also better paid leave, maternity pay, sick pay and holiday pay than many private employers. The NHS is also a big organisation, and that means there is usually scope for promotion into other roles. As it is an administrative role, you don’t work the very long hours that you hear about nurses or doctors working; it’s a more regular sort of a working pattern.

      The potential negative is that people are often upset when they talk to you, and not everyone remembers to be as polite to the waiting list and appointment teams as they should be if they are in pain or frightened. But you should have a supportive team and team leader to help you deal with any difficult conversations.

    • Photo: Caroline Hatton

      Caroline Hatton answered on 3 Apr 2023:

      For us in Primary Care (GP surgeries) one of the hard things is patients don’t always understand what the different professionals working at the surgery can do so for example they want to be scheduled to see a doctor but the physio might be a much better person for them to see for the particular illness they have.

      Another problem is capcity the demand for services is very high so sometimes it is very difficult to meet expectations people want to be seen straight away but there may be a wait as there just isn’t enough tiem to fit everyone in.

      On a positive note it is really rewarding to be able to help someone by coordinating appointments so that they are seen in the quickest time possible particularly if they have something that is frightening.

    • Photo: Laurence Quirk

      Laurence Quirk answered on 21 Apr 2023:

      I think there are lots of positives especially knowing that you are enabling patients to access healthcare in a timely manner. If you’re good at solving puzzles I’m sure this would be a great role for you

      Negatives – there are probably lots of times when you are trying to reorganise diaries because patients and clinicians need to rearrange appointments.