A day in the life: Patient Services

Sharon Clancy, Patient Services Team Leader, The Royal Marsden Community Services

The admin centre is the first port of call for any patient. This is where patients book appointments and where we receive their referrals to The Royal Marsden Community Services, including musculoskeletal and neurological services.

On average we answer about 400 telephone calls in a day. 300 of those could involve booking appointments, while 100 are referrals from hospitals across London and referrals from GP practices.

People who come home from hospital can be a little anxious about leaving hospital and coming home to the community to continue with their care. We’re the point of contact to provide reassurance if they have any queries about their referrals and appointments. We often speak to the same people; they find it reassuring that they’re supported by our team who are able to explain and provide an update on the process of being referred and book.

Our team of 12 ensures that we have the necessary and correct information for referrals and that patients are referred to the correct team. We also make sure referral letters are sent out in a timely manner and that we’re on top of our waiting lists. 

Our offices have recently moved to Sutton, meaning that we’re now closer to the GPs we work with. I’m organising a GP open day in January and inviting them to come and see the admin centre. This is so that they have an understanding of how we work and how we can help them. 

We work closely with the other teams in Community Services and have a good working relationship with them which is vital for keeping on top of our work. The most challenging part of my role is booking appointments. This is because we have to fit rescheduled appointments in, as well as those who are on the waiting list – having such a strong team behind me really helps.

I love all aspects of my job, but it’s working with the team that makes a difference. It’s a team effort between all of us. As the team leader I make sure all tasks are distributed evenly. For example, for half a day a person might take telephone calls and for the other half they would be doing the admin. 

I organise at least one session for the team to get together once a month; it could be a bring and share lunch or the Christmas jumper day. Last week we organised a fundraising day where the team and management raised over £240 for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity by selling cakes and raffle tickets for prizes donated by staff and friends. 

I love all aspects of my job, but it's working with the team that makes a difference

Sharon Clancy, Community Administrator, The Royal Marsden Community Services