What is the SCR and how is it updated?

What is the SCR and how is it updated?

HSCIC SCR image - Pharmacy and medicine (use in relation to SCR only)The NHS Summary Care Record (SCR) is an electronic summary of key clinical information (including medicines, allergies and adverse reactions) about a patient, sourced from the GP record. It is used by authorised healthcare professionals such as pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who have been trained in SCR usage. It is used with the patient’s consent, to support their care and treatment. Where a patient and their doctor wish to add additional information to the patient’s Summary Care Record, this may be added with the explicit consent of the patient.

Frequently asked questions

Q. How is the SCR created?

A. Summary Care Records are created and maintained by GP practices. The GP IT systems that they use, in accordance with GP Systems of Choice (GPSoC), have the capability to upload SCRs for all registered patients in a GP practice to the national NHS ‘Spine‘.

Records are then maintained automatically, whenever there is a relevant change to the patients practice record (and the user has logged on with their smartcard).  

GP practices also have the capability to access and view SCRs for any non-registered patients including emergency and temporary patients.

As soon as a practice starts creating SCRs they are considered to be live with SCR.  Any patient that is either seen at the practice, or whose information on their local record is updated, will have their SCR updated through the creation of a GP Summary Update.

Q. How is the SCR updated? Is there a requirement for GP practices to update the SCR?

From April 2014, GP practices were required to enable automated uploads of any changes to a patient’s summary information in the medical record, at least on a daily basis, to the Summary Care Record (SCR). Practices were required to implement this requirement as soon as possible after 1 April 2014 and should, by 30 September 2014, have published a statement of intent at the practice premises and on the website (where applicable) to achieve the requirement by 31 March 2015.

The requirement is on the basis of the current definition of the SCR i.e. the core SCR record contains medications, allergies and adverse reactions and is uploaded on the basis of implied patient consent. Additional information can only be uploaded with explicit patient consent and should be information required to support patient care in an emergency or urgent situation.

Related resources

For more of an SCR overview use the buttons below:

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