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Creating a new NHS England: NHS England and NHS Digital merged on 1 February 2023. More about the merger.

Summary Care Record in community pharmacy

NHS Digital is working to make sure all community pharmacies can view Summary Care Records (SCR). Discover the benefits of SCR and how to view them.

Summary Care Record application (SCRa) COVID-19 information

To help the NHS to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic there will also be a temporary change to include COVID-19 codes on the patient’s SCR. Users of the Summary Care Record application and SCR 1-click systems will be made aware of specific suspected and confirmed COVID-19 information by a message box displayed on the SCR

Benefits of using SCR in community pharmacy

Being able to view the Summary Care Record in community pharmacies has clear benefits for patients and staff. Once SCR is implemented, you can check:

  • allergies to prevent prescribing errors
  • current medications prescribed for emergency supply purposes
  • eligibility for services such as a free flu jab

Having instant access to patient information speeds up care, reduces the need for phone calls to GP practices, and reduces referrals to other services, particularly out-of-hours.

Read more on the benefits and uses of SCR in community pharmacy

How to view Summary Care Records in community pharmacy

Once your pharmacy implements SCR, you can view SCR on the Spine portal or via SCR 1-click. You will need an NHS Smartcard with the right codes added to log in.

SCR Additional Information flag

A flag is presented on the SCR screen to highlight when a patient has Additional Information on their SCR, as well as the core information on medicines, allergies and adverse reactions. This information may include:

  • care preferences
  • long term conditions such as diabetes or dementia
  • details of their carer

SCRa additional info flag screenshot

You must always ask the patient for permission to view their SCR. Access will be audited by the Privacy Officer to make sure that all users are following the rules for information governance.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) SCR guidance

The RPS has developed guidance for pharmacists on how to use SCR and how to make the most of it to help patients, improve efficiency and be more effective.

Flexible access to essential digital tools for community pharmacy teams

Community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will be able to access the core national digital tools including the Summary Care Record (SCR), the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) and the Patient Demographic Service (PDS) from any community pharmacy in England by Friday 5 June.

Temporary smartcard positions have been created that will provide flexibility to approximately 19,000 pharmacists and over 3,500 pharmacy technicians during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The new position has already been granted to existing locum pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to ensure consistent access to SCR from wherever they are working. This work is being done centrally, with no action required by individuals.

If you already have SCR enabled on your smartcard and have already been verified via the NHS Digital process to check eligibility, then you do not need to contact NHS Digital for access.  You can liaise directly with your Registration Authority to reinstate your SCR access.

Check if you have access

You can check if you have the Locum access by going through the log into SCR process and checking if you have the FFFFF organisation code alongside the other organisations code you previously had. 

If you are a qualified pharmacist or pharmacy technician and do not have the FFFFF organisation code on your card there are now 2 routes for the Covid-19 period only.

  1. If you urgently need Locum access to help during the Covid-19 pandemic only then your local registration authority can add it for you as a temporary measure.
  2. If you wish to have Locum access after Covid-19, then you need to apply via the usual route outlined in 'getting started with SCR'. This is because the covid position will end when the Pandemic is under control.

If you have not used SCR before there is free online training. Please also ensure you familiarise yourself with permission to view guidelines and Information Governance.

If you require any further information, please contact

Further information

internal Getting started with SCR from 1 April 2017

Find out about getting started with Summary Care Records (SCR), including the process to follow for pharmacy organisations, users and SCR governance people (SGPs, formerly privacy officers).

Last edited: 20 February 2023 11:18 am