Pharmacists given access to NHS Summary Care Record

The SCR provides clinical information about patients, sourced from their GP records. It has been the subject of debate due to concerns over consent and confidentiality, but was eventually given the go ahead by the former coalition government.

The HSCIC conducted a pilot programme at 140 sites. They found that in 92 per cent of encounters where SCR was access the pharmacists avoided the need to signpost the patient to other NHS care settings and in 18 per cent of encounters the SCR the risk of a prescribing error was avoided. Additionally, 85 per cent of pharmacists surveyed agreed that SCR reduced the need for them to contact the patient’s GP.

Minister of State for Community and Social Care, Alistair Burt MP said: "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."

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