Regs explainer (#1): Access to SCR


Regs explainer (#1): Access to SCR

November 2, 2020

On 20th October 2020 new NHS regulations were laid to introduce changes to the Terms of Service for pharmacy contractors. Some of these changes relate to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but most are changes which were previously agreed as part of the 5-year Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) and were originally planned to be introduced in July 2020.

This article is one of a series, explaining what the changes mean for pharmacy contractors and their teams.

This change applies from:

9th November 2020

What is the new requirement?

Pharmacy contractors must ensure that staff working at their pharmacy can access NHS Summary Care Records (SCR) and that access is consistent and reliable during the pharmacy’s opening hours, in so far as that is within the control of the contractor.

SCRs can only be accessed by pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, and this regulatory change does not amend that. Subject to the normal patient consent requirements, those registered professionals should access patients’ SCRs whenever providing pharmaceutical services to the extent that they consider, in their clinical judgement, that it is appropriate to do so.

Most contractors have previously ensured their pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have access to SCR, as this was originally a requirement of the Pharmacy Quality Scheme.

Situations where consistent and reliable access to SCR may be outside the control of the contractor could include the SCR system being down at a national level and internet connection problems or power supply issues which the contractor has reported and their provider is seeking to fix. A failure to ensure a new pharmacist or pharmacy technician member of staff or a locum has a working NHS smartcard which allows access to SCR would be a circumstance within the control of the contractor.

Where can I get more support on this?

Further guidance on how to access and use SCRs can be found on PSNC’s SCR webpage.


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