PSNC Briefing 003/20: Updating Smartcards for multi-site and Summary Care Record usage

Published on: 28th January 2020 | Updated on: 10th June 2022

PLEASE NOTE: This legacy briefing has been migrated across from our previous website

This PSNC Briefing explains how community pharmacy teams can request SCR rights on their Smartcards and explains Smartcard multi-site arrangements.

PSNC Briefing 003/20 Updating Smartcards for multi-site and Summary Care Record (SCR) usage


COVID-19 update: Before and during the start of the COVID-19 2020 pandemic, PSNC supported NHS Digital’s work to look at adjusting the flexibility of Smartcards whilst maintaining integrity of the Smartcard system. Developments during 2020 included:

  • NHS Digital confirmed their position regarding RA flexibility “Wider use of National Locum Pharmacy Agency code and position (FFFFF) can be used. It is important that RAs keep a log of users given this access for exceptional reasons so that it can be revoked as appropriate at some point in the future.” (24th March 2020 NHS Digital website).
  • Those pharmacy team members with the pharmacist and 5F codes on their card were granted SCR rights associated with the 5F code for at least one year. This bulk adjustment performed by NHS Digital meant that if the staff used the 5F at various pharmacy premises, they could still access SCR information. A new card role, “National Locum Pharmacist + SCR – COVID-19”, was added to smartcards from late April 2020. The new COVID-19 related Smartcard code is planned to automatically expire after a set period (extended to March 31st 2022). This activity was performed centrally so that no action should have been required by pharmacy team members or local RAs.” (From April 23rd 2020). If you have experiences about why this is helpful irrespective of the pandemic and should be extended indefinitely contact

Local RAs can also perform identity verification where required via videocon methods during the ongoing pandemic in accordance with guidance from NHS Digital guidance intended for RAs here about identify verification.


Read more at:, and within factsheets: Smartcard processes and tipsUsing Care Identity Service (CIS), Smartcard model overview and SCR checklist.



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