Pharmacists to have access to NHS Summary Care Record
Access to the NHS Summary Care Record (SCR) is to be rolled out to all community pharmacists in England to help them play a greater role in patient care, it has been announced. Implementation will begin in autumn this year and will see the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) collaborating with bodies such as the General Pharmaceutical Council, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the National Pharmacy Association.
The SCR provides access to data included in patients’ GP records, covering key areas such as medications used. As with NHS clinicians, pharmacists will need explicit consent from patients before viewing this information.
A proof of concept trial was carried out in March this year, involving 140 pharmacies from around the country. 85 per cent of participating pharmacists reported that SCR access reduced the need to make contact with GPs. It was also reported that having access to this data helped avoid the risk of making prescription errors in 18 per cent of encounters.
Minister for community and social care Alistair Burt said: “Pharmacists are an untapped resource in our health service – as experts in medicine, 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 report of the proof of trial concept can be viewed online at: http://systems.hscic.gov.uk/scr/library/poc_report.pdf.