Maryanne Greenough is a Medical Secretary for GMMH’s Wigan Division. She’s part of the admin team at Atherleigh Park, a five-ward mental health hospital in Leigh.
As an NHS medical secretary, Maryanne makes sure the consultant she works for can dedicate his time to patient care whilst she takes on administrative and secretarial tasks.
“A typical day for me includes checking and updating the ward lists for any discharges, these need to be followed up with both a 24 hour and long discharge summary letter to the GP.
“These letters are recorded on audio tape or sent via email for me to type up and/or re-format into our letter templates ensuring accuracy is maintained and all the necessary information is documented.
“At times I have telephone calls from service users or their families following up referrals or medications, asking for help with information.
“I also take and type up minutes for ward morning meetings, documenting any issues/risks or changes that need to be recorded into the patients records and/or followed up by ward staff.
“Mental Health Act Tribunal Reports, Managers Hearing reports and any other documentation that the doctors are required to complete need to be typed as well as any other requests I have from the Consultant/Junior Doctors I look after including minute taking for professionals’ meetings or multidisciplinary meetings.”
Best parts of the job
Maryanne enjoys building relationships with her colleagues and says that following a patient’s journey to recovery is one of the most rewarding aspects of her career.
“I enjoy forming relationships with the staff and how every day presents with different challenges. Once initial barriers are broken a real working relationship begins to form, which I feel are the foundations needed to be able to do this job well.
“Minute taking of ward meetings is one of my favourite parts of the job. I truly find it interesting as it gives me an insight into the treatments offered and the trials and tribulations associated with being an inpatient at a mental health unit.
“It enables me to follow the patient journey from the time of admission, at a time when their mental health and wellbeing is at its worst, right up until they are discharged, a point when they are mentally well, with all the triumphs and difficulties that can happen in-between.
“Each story is different, and it truly is an honour to be able to observe that progress.”
Aspects of the role that surprised me
“You become emotionally invested in someone’s recovery. Someone you’ve never met, spoken to or even laid eyes on but have spent weeks or months following and documenting their story to recovery and mentally willing them to get better, when they are finally well and discharged you feel proud for everything that they have overcome.”
Advice to others considering a career in Wigan’s services
“You need to have a good (often quite dry) sense of humour – this is essential!!
“Be a good listener and a shoulder to cry on when you need to be, I find it best to let the other person, whether it be a patient, family member or member of staff let out their emotions, feelings or frustrations first then once settled, address the issue in hand (if you can).
“Being able to leave work at work is also essential to keeping a good and happy work life balance.”
“#1 top tip – Treats go a long way!! The secret to having a happy team is to go through their bellies, little treats every now and again helps lift morale.”