Following a successful concept trial, Summary Care Records will be available for community pharmacists across England to access. Sourced from their GP record, the SCR provides key clinical information about a patient, which will allow community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to support patients with better informed and tailored care.
Used by authorised healthcare professionals, with the patient’s consent, the SCR will be provided with approved and monitored access. NHS England has commissioned the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) to support all community pharmacies in England to implement access to the SCR.
Currently, more than 96% of the population have an SCR and it is already being successfully used in many settings across the NHS, such as A&E departments and NHS 111.
Alistair Burt MP, Minister of State for Community and Social Care, commented: “Pharmacists are an untapped resource in our health service – as experts in medicines, they can help people to manage their conditions and take some of the pressure off our GPs. That’s why it makes complete sense to give them the ability to access patients’ summary care records, where appropriate.
“So we’re investing up to £7.5 million to give community pharmacists the training and tools they need to access a patient’s summary care record. A pilot has already shown that as a result of this, as many as nine out of ten people can get the help they need from their pharmacist without having to be sent to another service. I encourage all community pharmacists to get involved and further improve the care we can give people in their communities.”
Alistair Buxton, Director of NHS Services, PSNC, said: “This will be an important step in the development of community pharmacy services, helping to cement community pharmacy’s position at the heart of primary care, better integrated into health and care systems. This integration is vital if patients are to receive more coordinated healthcare in the future.”
In a joint statement from PSNC, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and Pharmacy Voice, they said: “We strongly believe by extending Summary Care Record access to community pharmacists people will receive better, safer and more accessible care.”