Porter at front of Hospital

The role of a customer service practitioner is to deliver high quality products and services to the patients and their families within the trust.

Your core responsibility will be to provide a high quality service to our visitors which will be delivered in the workplace, digitally, or through our many outreach programmes.  

These may be one-off or routine contacts and include dealing with orders, payments, offering advice, guidance and support, meet-and-greet, sales, fixing problems, after care, service recovery or gaining insight through measuring customer satisfaction. You will also gain evidence from interactions with internal customers, other departments and contractors.

The course length is a total of 15 months, with 12 months on programme learning and end point assessment in the final 3 months.


Clerks are employed throughout the health service. In some clerical roles you will have a lot of contact with patients and relatives, in others none at all. You might work:

  • in an office, doing general tasks such as filing and photocopying
  • in a clinic, arranging appointments and checking patients in
  • on a ward, helping to admit and discharge patients.

Medical record-keepers

As the NHS moves from paper to electronic records, medical record-keepers are more vital than ever. You will look after highly confidential clinical notes. You’ll have to ensure the records are completely secure but at the same time have them readily available to those treating patients.

Medical secretaries

In this role you will deal with correspondence, making appointments, handling patients’ queries and liaising with other healthcare staff. You’ll develop familiarity with medical terms.


As part of the front-line team, the receptionist is the first point of contact for many patients and visitors. You could work in one of many different areas, such as A&E, outpatients or a GP’s surgery. You might make appointments, check patients in and arrange transport, probably using a computer system.

Secretaries / typists .Your role will vary, depending on where you are based and how your office is organised.

Switchboard operators / telephonists

Like a receptionist, you will be an important first contact for patients and their families, who might be anxious or upset. You will also take urgent calls from GPs and other healthcare staff in the community.


Qualified and unqualified staff are employed in finance departments. At junior levels, you might handle invoices or run a payroll system. As a senior staff member, you could be involved in financial analysis, planning and reporting, management accounting and negotiations over funding.

Human resources

You will be involved in recruitment, complaints and grievance procedures and in bringing in new local and national employment policies. An increasingly important part of your job would be to help employees benefit from the NHS’s work-life balance policies. You will work closely with health unions and professional bodies

You can read more about the careers here.

Career progression

There are plenty of opportunities to take further qualifications and move on in your customer service career in the NHS. You could stay in customer service, perhaps by becoming a team leader or supervisor. You could go on to become an administration manager or move into other wider healthcare roles, too. If you like figures, you could use your skills and experience to move into finance. Or if you’re keen on IT you could move into informatics.

With experience and qualifications, there is also the chance to work towards a management qualification. This could lead to a range of different management roles within the NHS such as administration management or GP practice management.

Visit the Health Careers website to read more about the different administration careers in the NHS. 

How to apply

You can apply through the National Apprenticeship Service website or via the NHS Jobs Website. Applications are then shortlisted against the set criteria on the relevant person specification. Please note you must be 18 to apply for Clinical Apprenticeships.

What happens after I apply?

Your application form will be submitted for short-listing process, which involves assessing whether you meet the criteria required on the person specification for the role.

​Candidates who meet the criteria will be invited to attend an interview.