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A day in the life of a clinical advisor within the NHS 111 service

My name is Andy Roberts and I am a clinical advisor for the 111 service at Care UK in the East of England. I have been in this role for 1 year and 11 months. The experience and knowledge gained in this role has been extensive and allowed me to enhance my own skills.

I am a registered nurse of 29 years and have worked in varied clinical settings including working in Saudi Arabia. The experiences I have gained have enabled me to fulfil this role and help to advise patients to the correct service within the NHS framework. My role includes providing clinical advice for patients, relatives and other sources to the correct service available. This involves a clarification of initial assessment and probing further into the clinical situation. I also liaise with other professionals and out of hour services. Also, within my role I have been able to complete a coaching course that allows me to be an auditor and coach for other new clinicians.

What are some of the challenges you face?
This role has many challenges, as callers to the service have different reasons to phone; this can be from general health care enquiries to specific medical needs. Also as an auditor I am involved in auditing calls from colleagues and feeding back this to the individual for personal development or improvement.

What are some of the positives and highlights?
Being able to utilise my skills and knowledge in a way that benefits patients and their carers/relatives within a structured telephone triage. Working in a very friendly and supportive environment where my colleagues have varied skills and experiences and are willing to share these. There are always opportunities to gain further skills and experiences and in-house training is provided.

What do you believe are the most important skills needed?
The most important skills needed as a clinical advisor are communication (both written and verbal), using your clinical skills effectively, having the ability to work in a team and not being afraid to ask for advice.

How do you like to spend your time outside work?
Fishing is my passion and my flexible shift pattern allows me plenty of time to do this.

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