SCR implementation

SCR implementation

With effect from 1st April 2017, a new process has been established for community pharmacy contractors to go live with Summary Care Records (SCR).

The process to apply for SCR access is outlined on our SCR registration checklist 2017/18, and also on NHS Digital’s website here: There will be no requirement to attend face-to-face training.

SCR provides pharmacists and pharmacy technicians with access to patient information, such as medication, allergies and adverse reactions, reducing the need to contact GP practices.

Over 93% of community pharmacies now have access to SCR and over 24,000 pharmacy professionals have completed the SCR e-learning.

From April 2017, demonstrating increasing usage of SCR over time became a measure for quality criteria as part of the Quality Payments Scheme.

Additionally, online training is now available for SCR Governance Persons (SGPs) (previously called Privacy Officers).

Background: Pilot study

Back in 2014 a proof of concept study to examine community pharmacy access to the SCR was announced which would be managed by NHS Digital (formerly HSCIC) on behalf of NHS England. Five areas were chosen by NHS Digital and NHS England to pilot community pharmacy access to the SCR – Somerset, Northampton, North Derbyshire, Sheffield and West Yorkshire; within those five areas 140 pharmacies participated in the pilot.

An evaluation of the impact of the proof of concept project was undertaken following its conclusion in March 2015. It determined that there are significant benefits to be realised for patients, pharmacists, GPs, and the wider health economy by enabling community pharmacy to have access to the SCR. It also found that the implementation approach has demonstrated that it is possible and practical to provide SCR access to all pharmacy types and settings.

Key finding from the proof of concept project include:

  • In 92% of encounters where SCR was accessed, the pharmacist avoided the need to signpost the patient to other NHS care settings;
  • 85% of pharmacists surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that SCR reduced the need for them to contact the patient’s GP; and
  • In 18% of encounters, the risk of a prescribing error was avoided. 

Contact information - local implementation managers

For further details on SCR implementation please contact your regional SCR implementation manager:



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