08 December 2016: A major milestone has been achieved after uptake of the Summary Care Record among community pharmacies in England reached 50%.
This represents nearly 6,000 pharmacies using the functionality, which provides key clinical information about a patient, sourced from the GP record.
The achievement comes only a year after NHS Digital began rollout of SCR to community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. To date, more than 20,000 pharmacy professionals have completed online SCR training, and almost 90% of community pharmacies have participated in briefing sessions to support their implementation of SCR. The top ten community pharmacies for SCR usage are accessing SCR on average 50 times a week.
Pharmacy professionals using SCR benefit from improved clinical decision making, reduced patient waiting times and fewer calls to GP surgeries. SCR supports the wider role of pharmacy, by providing patient information to support people with long-term conditions or complex drug treatments. It also supports pharmacy to become the first port of call for minor ailments, helping to free up resource within general practice and A&E.
Mohammed Hussain, Programme Head for Integrated Pharmacy at NHS Digital, said: "It is really encouraging that half of community pharmacies now have access to SCR, allowing them to support patients with better informed and tailored care.
"From April 2017, accessing SCR will also become a NHS England measure under the Quality Payments Scheme for community pharmacy, helping to drive up quality of care in this setting."
Nazam Iqbal, a pharmacist working at Manor Pharmacy (Blundell's Pharmacy Ltd) in Leigh, said: "The process of setting up the SCR viewer was simple and easy. I can use it when delivering services such as the flu jab, or when an issue arises with the emergency supply of medication. It is an invaluable tool to help pharmacists make a better clinical judgement, with all the relevant information available to them."
For community pharmacies yet to access SCR, including those that have already attended a briefing event, further guidance on completing the implementation and training process is available on the NHS Digital website. Additional SCR briefing events are also being arranged in the New Year for independent pharmacies.