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Summary Care Records (SCR)

Summary Care Records (SCR) are an electronic record of important patient information, created from GP medical records. They can be seen and used by authorised staff in other areas of the health and care system involved in the patient's direct care.

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Health and care staff can access SCR through the Spine web portal

Patients can ask to view or add information to their SCR by visiting their GP practice. For more patient information see your health records - NHS.UK

View our SCR dashboards to see the latest statistics on SCR viewing and the creation of SCRs with Additional Information across England

These pages are in development. If you cannot find what you are looking for try the Summary Care Record archive pages

Access to SCR information means that care in other settings is safer, reducing the risk of prescribing errors. It also helps avoid delays to urgent care.

At a minimum, the SCR holds important information about;

  • current medication
  • allergies and details of any previous bad reactions to medicines
  • the name, address, date of birth and NHS number of the patient

The patient can also choose to include additional information in the SCR, such as details of long-term conditions, significant medical history, or specific communications needs.

Using SCR

SCR for patients

If you are registered with a GP practice in England your SCR is created automatically, unless you have opted out. 98% of practices are now using the system. You can talk to your practice about including additional information to do with long term conditions, care preferences or specific communications needs.

Read more patient information on SCR

GP information on creating SCRs and including additional information

The SCR is created automatically through clinical systems in GP practices and uploaded to the Spine. It will then be updated automatically. When new patients are registered the practice should check they are happy to have an SCR. A sample letter for new patients is available. Additional information can be added to the SCR, with express patient consent, by the GP. The additional information dataset can be included automatically by changing the patient's consent status.

When viewing SCRs, if a health care professional already has access to view SCRs then they require no further RBAC activities or smartcard changes to view SCRs which have additional information included.

From 1 July 2017, the General Medical Services (GMS) contract requires GPs to identify patients with moderate or severe frailty, and promote the inclusion of additional information in the SCRs of those with severe frailty by seeking their consent to add it. NHS Digital have sent a resource pack, Supporting Guidance for promoting enriched Summary Care Records for patients with frailty, to CCGs, to be distributed to GP practices, containing support and guidance on their new duties and how to include additional information in SCRs.

Read NHS England guidance on the requirements to support frailty in the GMS contract 2017-18

Read more on including additional information in the SCR

How to record medicines prescribed elsewhere into the GP practice record

This guidance explains why medicines prescribed elsewhere to a patient’s GP practice must be recorded into their GP practice record and the implications to the Summary Care Record when this has not been done. It also explains what steps GP practices can take to ensure that this information is recorded correctly.

Read more on recording medicines prescribed elsewhere into the GP practice record

Viewing SCRs

The SCR can be viewed by health and care staff, and viewing is now being rolled out to community pharmacies. SCRs can be viewed through clinical systems or through the Summary Care Record application (SCRa) on the Spine web portal, from a machine logged in to the secure NHS network, using a smartcard with the appropriate Role Based Access Control codes set.

Read more on viewing SCR and implementing viewing in your organisation

Read more on SCR in community pharmacies

Security and the SCR

Data within the SCR is protected by secure technology. Users must have a smartcard with the correct codes set. Each use is recorded. A patient can ask to see the record of who has looked at their SCR, from the viewing organisation. This is called a 'Subject Access Request'.

Patient data is protected by strict information governance rules and procedures. Each organisation using the SCR has at least one privacy officer who is responsible for monitoring access and can generate audits and reports.

A patient can also opt out of having an SCR by returning a completed opt-out form to their GP practice.

Give us your feedback

We are improving the way that you access information held within the Summary Care Record application (SCRa). We don't want to make these changes in isolation so would like to understand more about our users interact with SCRa in order to make an informed choice. Please complete the survey with as much information as possible.

Take part in the NHS Digital Summary Care Record Application Survey

Consultation on viewing SCRs with additional information

Are you viewing SCRs with additional information? Tell us what you think.


Information for clinical commissioning groups and others responsible for health planning

Use of SCR is featured in NHS England's Universal capabilities information and resources for helping organisations to fulfil commitments in their Local Digital Roadmaps and Sustainability and Transformation Plans.

SCR helps organisations fulfil capabilities:

  • A: professionals across care settings can access GP held information on GP prescribed medications, patient allergies and adverse reactions (SCR core functionality)
  • B: Clinicians in urgent and emergency care settings can access key GP-held information for patients previously identified by GPs as most likely to present in urgent and emergency care) (SCR with additional information)
  • H: Professionals across care settings made aware of end-of-life preference information (SCR with additional information)

Further information

  1. internal

    Viewing Summary Care Records (SCR)

    Find out about viewing Summary Care Records (SCR), including ways to connect to SCR on the Spine and how to set up your healthcare organisation to view SCRs.

Last edited: 21 January 2020 2:00 pm