Summary care record hits 40m milestone

Two in five GP out-of-hours services have access to the summary care record (SCR), as NHS England figures reveal 40m patients now have a personal record.

Summary care records have been rolled out to 40m patients (Photo: Jason Heath Lancy)
Summary care records have been rolled out to 40m patients (Photo: Jason Heath Lancy)

NHS England figures show 73 out of 170 GP out-of-hours services (41%) have access to the SCR. Efforts will now be focused on rolling out the system to the remaining providers, in addition to A&E and NHS 111 services.

Despite the incomplete roll-out, the SCR, which pulls patient information from GP records, is viewed 19,000 times a week, or once every 30 seconds, according to statistics released by NHS England.

GP practices will be required to set up an automated upload of their summary information to the SCR by March 2015, or provide evidence that they have plans in place to achieve this.

They must also allow online access to the SCR for patients by this date, as specified in the new GP contract.

NHS England said having a patient’s clinical data - including information on their end-of-life care, allergies and current medications – stored in one place would make it easier for healthcare staff to treat patients in an emergency, or when their GP practice is closed.

Confidentiality scare

The SCR has met with significant difficulties since it was announced by the government on an opt-out basis, sparking rows about consent and patient confidentiality similar to those facing the care.data programme today.

Beverley Bryant, director of strategic systems and technology at NHS England, said the organisation was ‘delighted’ that the programme was now going strong.

She said: ‘Access to key information, with the patient’s consent, on medicines, allergies and contraindications will allow clinicians to make informed decisions about direct patient care as soon as possible.

‘This is a key enabler for seven-day NHS services and the transformation of urgent care services. This will help patients get the right advice or treatment, at the right place, first time.

‘Clinicians across all care settings are keen to use the SCR because it speeds up their work, makes the process much easier and prevents the patient having to repeat the same information several times.’

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