Ian Sinclair, Patient Care Advisor, Dictation and Resource Analyst, tells us about his career at Connect, why he thrives on helping others and how Connect always put patients and colleagues first.
I wasn’t sure which career path to take
As one of 5 siblings, I have always enjoyed playing and watching football. When I was aged 16-18, I played football at a scholarship level for Sunderland and Bolton. I then did a plumbing apprenticeship and reached diploma level 3 but was made redundant. As Christmas was on the horizon, I needed some security and decided to apply for an admin job at Connect. Having heard good things from my sister who worked here at the time and after doing my own research, it felt like a good fit because it involved helping patients whilst learning about physiotherapy.
I love the variety of the work in the Referral Management Centre
It sounded a lot more exciting than a standard admin job, so I joined Connect in October 2014 as Patient Care Advisor in the Referral Management Centre (RMC). The RMC supports over 300k patients and is therefore a busy and dynamic environment in which to work.
Connect gave me a different vision and plan for the future – that’s why I’m still here
I immediately realised there is a lot of opportunity at Connect. During my time here, I have been lucky enough to gain different skills. I’ve worked as a Patient Care Advisor and gained a great deal of admin knowledge whilst learning different computer systems.
I love to share my knowledge and give colleagues the best first impression of Connect
I’ve had the opportunity to lead and run my own contracts. This means I have been the first point of contact and help manage staff training on the various computer systems (including SystmOne and EMIS). I make sure they understand what our daily targets are and roll out new processes.
I’ve recently gained two new areas of responsibility
I’ve been given training on a dictation role which I carry out on top of my PCA role. I’ll listen to the clinician’s appointment summary, type up the clinical letter and attach it to the clinical system. A copy is also sent to the patient, their GP and others involved in the patient’s care; dependent on the pathway. This means I’ve had to learn a lot of medical terms and requires good attention to detail but I’ve picked it up well.
I’ve also been given a 20-hour secondment as a Research Analyst. I oversee every contract in the RMC, fill out a report for every task and feedback what we do well to highlight any risks, so we can action them asap. We’ve got an aim to process everything within 24-48 hours. The team managers and I are linking in to see how to achieve this aim.
I love it here. It’s a very varied job with lots of opportunities.
As well as a great benefits scheme which gives you discounts on all sorts of useful things like phone contracts and cinema tickets, you get your Birthday off. There are also many opportunities that are provided to everyone no matter what department you work in. We have a lot of internal secondments which give you the chance to gain experience elsewhere. The management team provide amazing support to everyone. We have regular one to ones and if you have a vision and a plan, the team manager does everything they can to support you by giving you extra responsibilities.
There aren’t any downsides but perhaps we could do with a bigger kitchen due to the growth of the company!
My future is definitely at Connect
I’ve spent a lot of time learning about the company and my role and I’m probably one of the most experienced PCAs here.
So I have recently been successful at achieving a Team Manager role. I live with my partner and we are busy saving up to buy our first home.
My advice is to take up every opportunity that is provided
I would advise anyone to do everything to the best of your ability, so it benefits you and everyone around you. Keep supporting each other and pass on your experiences, set a goal
and go for it. I joined Connect and I didn’t think at the time I would make a career from it. But I was wrong. I’ve thrown myself into a range of different experiences and opportunities and I thrive on helping others.
I ask myself every day – how is it I can make a difference?
For me, working at Connect has been a whirlwind of learning opportunities. There’s been lots of ups and downs but that’s like any company. Overall, Connect is a great company that is definitely heading in the right direction.
You can download Ian Sinclair’s Story here
If you would like to know more about career opportunities at Connect Health please see our vacancies here