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National Care Records Service (NCRS)

The National Care Records Service (NCRS) provides a quick, secure way to access national patient information to improve clinical decision making and healthcare outcomes and it is free to use.

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Less than one month until Summary Care Record application (SCRa) closes down

If you do not take action to switch from the Summary Care Record application to the National Care Records Service (NCRS), you will automatically be redirected from 29 September. Switch now. This does not apply to users of Chargeable Status tab.

You need to have NHS Credential Management and NHS Identity Agent installed on your machine and use a modern browser. NCRS does not work in Internet Explorer (IE) (any version and IE11 in Compatibility mode) or Edge in IE mode.

About the service

NCRS is a service that allows health and care professionals to access and update a range of patient and safeguarding information across regional Integrated Care Services (ICS) boundaries.

The service provides a summary of health and care information for care settings where the full patient record is not required to support their direct care. The service is a web-based application and can be accessed regardless of what IT system an organisation is using and is the improved successor to the Summary Care Record application (SCRa).

Who the service is for

It enables any authorised clinician, care worker and/or administrator, in any health or care setting, to access a patient’s information to support that patient’s direct care.

What we deliver

NCRS provides access to an ever-increasing number of centrally provisioned national digital services that support the direct care of patients: 

It includes access to more than 57.5 million Summary Care Records with patient additional information. It also enables users to view over 450,000 care plan records via the National Record Locator.  

You can look up NHS patient numbers through the Personal Demographics Service, reasonable adjustment(s) (where flagged) and the Child Protection - Information Sharing service. Improved access to patient information supports the provision of safer care. 


NCRS should be used: 

  • where access to a summary of key patient information is required to support clinical decision making where full detailed patient records are not required 
  • to compliment local shared records by giving access to key patient information across ICS boundaries 
  • where a local shared care record is not available currently 

The strategic intention for NCRS was set out in the Department for Health and Social Care policy ‘Plan for digital health and care’. It is part of the work to build core national ‘connect’ capabilities, to enable authorised health and care professionals to have a holistic experience of the health and care system no matter where they happen to be in England.

How it is used

It’s available using mobile or desktop devices connected to the internet using WiFi, mobile data or an existing Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) connection.

NCRS offers multiple access options including biometric authentication or smartcards. Multifactor authentication access has been approved by the National Data Guardian for piloting. This is a medium level 2 authenticator. Its predecessor, SCRa, is only available using a desktop computer, with Smartcard authentication and an HSCN connection. 

User authentication is provided by NHS Care Identity Service 2 (NHS CIS2), the products and services require NHS Credential Management to authenticate in secure modern browsers. 


To use NCRS, a user requires an NHS Care Identity Service authenticator, which can include existing smartcards, and a relevant role for authentication. 

Connection requirements

To access NCRS, you will need: 


We offer an integration service to systems suppliers, who want to be able to launch the National Care Records Service from within their local applications.

It is a simpler and less resource-intensive method to view the service and replaces the previous 1-Click Service to view the Summary Care Record application (SCRa).


The National Care Records Service is available now. The list of current services is listed below. 

Service National Care Records Service (NCRS) Summary Care Record application (SCRa) 
Personal Demographics Service (PDS) – includes admin and edit capability Yes Yes
Summary Care Record (SCR) Yes Yes

National Record locator (NRL)

  • search for pointers
  • retrieve documents 







Child Protection Information Sharing (CP-IS) Yes Yes
Female Genital Mutilation – Information sharing (FGM - IS) Yes Yes
Reasonable Adjustments flag (RA) Yes No
Birth Notification Application (BNA) No (coming Summer 2023) Yes
Overseas Visitors and Migrants (OVM) No (coming Autumn 2023) Yes
3rd Party supplier direct integration Yes Yes SCR and CP-IS only
Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination event information Yes Yes

We require all users and organisations to switch from SCRa/1Click to NCRS by 29 September 2023. You can switch and start using NCRS now

National Care Records Service and Shared Care Records

NCRS uses a standalone portal. It can, therefore, be accessed regardless of what IT system an organisation is using.

NCRS can also be integrated directly into a local record system accessible via an in-context link. The summary information it provides may be useful in care settings when more detailed patient information is not required to support direct patient care. 

For organisations where mature Shared Care Record solutions are in place

Local systems will look to those to meet their detailed requirements for access to record and care plans. Initially these will be based around Integrated Care Board (ICB) footprints, or ICB collaborations. When national interoperability between local solutions is implemented, front line professionals will be able to access the detailed records and plans of the people they care for, regardless of where they live. 

The NCRS gives access now to a range of key patient information across regional boundaries to complement the local detailed Shared Care Records solutions.

For those less digitally mature and/or in the early stages of Shared Care Records planning

The NCRS is available now. It can be quickly onboarded to and deployed across multiple care settings. It provides safe secure access to national clinical patient information which may not be available by other means within the area. It is free to use and can be accessed regardless of what IT system the organisation is using .


Piloting authentication access with social care 

We are piloting the use of AAL2 level authentication in a number of care settings with the focus on social care.

The pilot aims to understand what benefits social care providers will gain for their patients by being able to access national patient records digitally without relying on other NHS organisations needing to share records or care planning information. 

Testimonials from London Ambulance Service

The ability to look at a record via the National Care Records Service changes the game!

National Care Records Service and National Record Locator are really good. There are things I would not have picked up on; the records guide me to more information and makes the patient receive safer care.

Login is easy and instantaneous. I like that I can just use my fingerprint as I already have loads of passwords to remember.

Service information

Senior Responsible Owner (SRO): Stephen Koch 

Service owner: Jill Sharples

Service level: Gold

Category: Interoperability 

Service status: Live 

Key metrics/KPIs: The NCRS provides access to over 60 million patient records 

Contact details

If your organisation uses the Summary Care Record application (SCRa) and would like to move to the new replacement National Care Records Service (NCRS), complete the NCRS new interest form.

For general enquires, email: [email protected] and reference the National Care Records Service.

For technical support, contact the National Service Desk:

Or visit the NHS Digital customer portal

Further information

internal National Record Locator (NRL)

Find and access patient information shared by other health and social care organisations, to support the direct care of a patient.

internal Integrating the National Care Records Service for system suppliers

We offer an integration service for systems suppliers for them to launch the National Care Records Service from within their local applications. It's a simpler and less resource intensive method to view the service, and replaces the previous 1-Click Service to view the Summary Care Record Application (SCRa).

Last edited: 13 September 2023 1:58 pm