A CMS success story, Kerry-Ann Baines developed on to a full-time role at Brookroyd Surgery at Heckmondwike Health Centre, where she first started work as an apprentice.
In this Apprenticeship Case Study, we hear from both Kerry-Ann and Practice Manager Julie Jones about how enthusiasm and willingness to learn can set you on course for a successful career.
Kerry-Ann chose a Business Administration apprenticeship over business school for the flexibility it offered.
“I thought it would be more suited to me as I wanted to move into a job but I was open minded about where,” she explains.
In 2016, she started a year-long apprenticeship at Brookroyd Surgery and on 1 February 2017, she was offered a permanent position.
Full-time work, part-time study
Working full-time during her apprenticeship at Brookroyd Surgery meant that most of Kerry-Ann’s studying was completed online in her free time, supported by a CMS tutor, who came into the health centre once a month to monitor her progress and mark her coursework.
She also benefited from training on the job, with the support of her new work colleagues.
The benefits of CMS
With the back-up of a helpful trainer, who can offer advice and support in person or by email, Kerry-Ann believes that others can benefit from training with CMS in the way that she did.
“I enjoy my current role in admin, but I also run events to raise awareness and money for charities, both at work and in my own time,” she says. “With my apprenticeship training and experience, I can potentially move into different jobs in the future, for example in the NHS.”
As Practice Manager of Brookroyd Surgery at Heckmondwike Health Centre, Julie has now sourced five apprentices through CMS, Kerry-Ann being the second.
The health centre is a standard primary care practice in a mixed community with a high percentage of elderly patients.
An enthusiastic team member
“Kerry-Ann has been a very successful apprentice, showing a willingness to learn and an enthusiasm for the job,” Julie explains.
“She learned things quickly and, because of the person she is, injected a bit of life and enthusiasm back into the team. It’s good to have a young person join the team as their enthusiasm rubs off on their colleagues.”
A fountain of knowledge
For a while, Kerry-Ann carried out a mix of reception and admin duties, before moving to a full-time admin role.
“Kerry-Ann is a fountain of knowledge,” says Julie. This means she is the person to go to for information on services outside the practice that are available to patients. This includes information to supports patient with long term conditions, Patients that are carers for friends and family members and many other support services available in our local community. She also keeps the waiting room information and displays up to date. She also has some involvement with the Practice Patient Group.
As a result of her achievements, Kerry-Ann has been awarded the title of Patient Champion. “She has a very nice way with the patients and she does a lot over and above her role, including volunteering and fundraising,” says Julie.
Progression and the future
As Julie sees it, following her apprenticeship, Kerry-Ann has a promising career ahead of her.
“I’m sure she’ll progress in the future and move onwards and upwards – you can see it in the way she approaches her work.”
Working in a primary care practice requires dedication but Julie has been impressed with how quickly the apprentices have leaned things and have adapted to the work, including dealing professionally with challenging patients.
“Even if we can’t keep someone on after their apprenticeship, there is plenty of work in this sector. Future employers like to see that the applicant has completed an apprenticeship in a doctor’s surgery, as they learn a lot of transferable skills, from dealing sensitively with people who are ill, manning busy phone lines and gaining knowledge and understanding of patient confidentiality. They also learn the importance of keeping accurate data and the legal requirements for information governance.
As Kerry-Ann continues to make the role of Patient Champion her own, a new apprentice sourced from CMS started with the practice in December 2017.
Whether in Business Admin or other subjects, an apprenticeship through CMS can lead to worthwhile roles and rewarding careers – as Kerry-Ann has discovered.