Your Summary Care Record (SCR) is an electronic short summary of your GP medical records. It tells other health and care staff who care for you about the medicines you take and your allergies. This means they can give you better care if you need health care away from your usual doctor's surgery:
- in an emergency
- when you're on holiday
- when your surgery is closed
- at out-patient clinics
- when you visit a pharmacy
Patient care can be supported by healthcare staff having faster access to their medical information and patients may not be required to repeat information to different NHS staff treating them. For example, in a hospital setting, healthcare staff will be able to access a patient's SCR immediately enabling faster assessment.
SCRs can support better, safer prescribing of medication for patients by providing up to date information on a patient's allergies, previous adverse reactions and medications.
SCRs will enable vulnerable patient groups and those patients that are unable to communicate well with healthcare staff. For example, a non-English speaking patient who might struggle to communicate his condition would no longer be disadvantaged as his SCR would be available to the treating clinician.
All information is confidential and only accessible to staff with NHS Smartcards.
Ask your doctor to include additional information on your SCR
You can add more information to your SCR by asking your doctor. They can add extra details from your medical notes, including:
- health problems like dementia or diabetes
- details of your carer
- your treatment preferences
- communication needs, for example if you have hearing difficulties or need an interpreter
This will help medical staff care for you properly, and respect your choices, when you need care away from your GP surgery. This is because having more information on your SCR means they will have a better understanding of your needs and preferences.
When you are treated away from your usual doctor's surgery, the health care staff there can't see your GP medical records. Looking at your SCR can speed up your care and make sure you are given the right medicines and treatment.
Protecting your SCR information
Staff will ask your permission to look at your SCR (except in an emergency where you are unconscious, for example) and only staff with the right levels of security clearance can access the system, so your information is secure. You can ask an organisation to show you a record of who has looked at your SCR - this is called a Subject Access Request.
Benefits of using SCR in community pharmacy
Being able to view the Summary Care Record in community pharmacies has clear benefits for patients and staff. Once SCR is implemented, you can:
- check allergies to prevent prescribing errors
- check current medications prescribed for emergency supply purposes
- check eligibility for services such as a free flu jab.
Having instant access to patient information speeds up care, reduces the need for phone calls to GP practices, and reduces referrals to other services, particularly out-of-hours.
For more information on Summary Care Record, visit: https://www.digital.nhs.uk/summary-care-records/patientsPage updated 15.3.18