Pharmacy professionals need better access to SCR

Pharmacy professionals need better access to SCR

December 7, 2020

PSNC and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) are calling for continued pharmacy access to Summary Care Records with Additional Information (SCRs with AI) following the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter to NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I), NHS Digital and NHSX, it is argued that community pharmacists need comprehensive access to electronic health records to provide the person-centred services set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

Additional Information in SCRs can assist with enhancing patient safety, because extra information is available relating to management of long-term conditions, immunisations and significant medical history. However, so far, this additional information has only been made available to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians when patients consent to additional information being included in their SCR and during the COVID-19 pandemic for all patients, as a result of pandemic legislation.

PSNC and RPS are recommending that new legislation is introduced to enable ongoing access to SCR with AI, helping pharmacy teams to fulfil their professional potential. The argument is augmented by growing public support for healthcare professional access to electronic health records, as a way to optimise patient care.

The letter also highlights that pharmacists should be able to access Local Health and Care Record (LHCR) systems wherever they are put in place and whichever pharmacy clinical system is being used.

Read the letter in full here.

Alastair Buxton, PSNC Director of NHS Services said:

“We need the NHS to do more to help us help patients. Pharmacy professionals should be able to easily access relevant patient information so they can support patients to make the most of their medicines and identify any possible concerns, thereby reducing the likelihood of problems escalating.

Access to this additional information during the pandemic has been crucial for pharmacy teams, and it would be a retrograde step if the amount of detail available to them reverts to its pre-pandemic level.”

Claire Anderson, Chair of the English Pharmacy Board (RPS), said:

“It is important that we build a more digitally connected NHS and giving pharmacists continued access to the additional information in Summary Care Records is an important place to start. People are becoming increasingly familiar to working digitally and there is growing opinion on sharing information to provide the best possible care for patients.

“We support the ongoing work to set common clinical standards, which allows crucial information to flow across the health system. Ensuring that community pharmacy is part of that system is critical in providing better patient care.”

Further information

Electronic health records

Contacting us with further case studies

If you have any examples of how SCR with AI has supported your ability to care for your patients, in comparison to the normal SCR access, please contact, as such examples could support our case for ongoing access to SCR with AI and other health records.


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