Behind the scenes

The health record service employs 122 staff across both James Cook and the Friarage hospitals who manage over one million volumes of patient records.

The James Cook department operates a 24 hour records service while the Friarage hospital operates Monday to Friday with an extended evening and weekend service also.

health record service

The service is split into the following teams:

Library management

Each month porters and secretaries and others deliver 45,000 case notes back to central file from all offices and departments around the trust. Deliveries are constant throughout the day and library staff – including two overnight workers at James Cook – aim to file notes within 24 hours of delivery.

Staff in this team also pack and transfer any notes that have to be filed back at the secondary storage unit, based off site. The staff ensure every set of those notes gets re-tracked on the information system, CaMIS, to indicate where the notes are being sent.

James Cook has four deliveries and collections per day Monday to Friday while the Friarage Hospital receives three deliveries a week from the unit.

Emergency and elective admissions

The library team work very closely with James Cook’s emergency admissions office who send information to staff when any patient is being admitted as an emergency. Staff work on locating the patient notes for the admitting ward. Around 4,100 sets of notes are sent out to wards for emergency admissions each month.

Clinic preparation

The teams in this area locate and provide case notes for large numbers of outpatient clinics across the trust. The staff are responsible for locating and preparing all of the notes for each clinic in advance of the clinic date and send out over 29,000 sets of notes per month for clinics – averaging a success rate of 99.7%.

health records service

Health records quality

This team is responsible for recording deceased information and change of address on CaMIS. On average there are 1,643 such notifications per month. However, the team is hindered in their work by having to correct details on the CaMIS system that should have been picked up when patients are admitted to the wards or attend outpatient clinics, such as current home address and GP practice.


A large central referral management and appointment booking team manage clinics across the whole trust. The staff book outpatient appointments on CaMIS and manage the clinic templates while also responding to calls from patients who want to enquire, cancel or change their outpatient appointments.

The staff are also responsible for ensuring patients referred for suspected cancer receive a first outpatient appointment within 14 days. The whole team receives around 9,500 telephone calls and 7,600 appointments are booked each month.

Patient access requests

At the Friarage, staff provide copies of patient records as per the Data Protection Act when patients/representatives place a request. The staff will obtain consultant permissions for information to be released and then they have the unenviable task of copying what is being requested. These staff work closely with the main patient access hub team based in the legal department at James Cook.