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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.

Viewing the SCR

An SCR should only be viewed if the user is involved in the patient's care. This is called a 'legitimate relationship'. The patient should always be asked for their consent before viewing. This is called 'permission to view'. The only exception to this is in an emergency where the patient can't give their permission but looking at their SCR would be in their best interest. For more information see information governance in SCR.

Users must have smartcards with the correct codes enabled and a connection to the secure NHS network. Users should:

  • log on to SCR on the Spine through the system in use in their organisation, using their Smartcard
  • choose the correct role, if they have more than one
  • search for the patient, using NHS number if possible
  • ask for the patient's permission to view the SCR and record it, or choose the emergency access option if the patient is unconscious or can't answer, and add a note

The Summary Care Record will then show details of current medication and allergies. The patient may also have chosen to include additional information in their SCR. This provides more information about the patient's medical history.

Viewing SCR with additional information

Permission to view guidance

Ways to connect to SCR on the Spine

Users can view the SCR using:

  • the standalone web viewer, the SCRa on the Spine web portal
  • an integrated viewer within an existing clinical system - available in Adastra (Advanced Health and Care), CLEO (CLEOsystems24), Web (EMIS), Symphony (Ascribe) and SystmOne (TPP)
  • one-click functionality within systems to launch the SCRa from within an existing system - available in RiO (Servelec), Lorenzo (CSC) and community pharmacy systems (Sonar and PharmOutcomes)
  • links to Spine within systems using the Spine mini service

Setting up your healthcare organisation to view SCRs

If you are interested in setting up your organisation so that your staff can view SCR information, contact the SCR team at NHS Digital:

The process will vary, but as a guide you will need to:

  • discuss and agree sites where SCR capability will be set up
  • assess IT systems to find the best technical solutions
  • decide what training staff need and how to provide it
  • identify which staff should have access and make sure they have the correct Role Based Access Control codes on their smartcards
  • appoint and train a privacy officer for the organisation, who will monitor SCR access - for more information see information governance in SCR

Viewing SCR in community pharmacy

NHS Digital is currently working to make sure all community pharmacies can view the SCR, and there is a dedicated community pharmacy team.

Go to the pages for SCR in community pharmacy

Scope of viewing SCRs

The original scope of the Summary Care Record (SCR) was to provide access to key information in Urgent and Emergency Care settings. Overtime through close consultation with the Expert Advisory Committee, NHS Digital have progressed a number of proof of concepts to see whether there are benefits, both for patients and health care professionals, for other care settings to access the SCR.
The following care settings are approved for national rollout to view the SCR where a legitimate relationship exists:

  • 111
  • Accident and Emergency
  • Acute Assessment
  • Ambulance
  • Community Care
  • GP Out of Hours
  • GP (for temporary or non-registered patients)
  • Hospital Pharmacy
  • Minor Injury Units/Walk in Centres/Urgent Treatment Centres
  • Scheduled Care
  • Mental Health
  • Health & Justice (Custody Suites)
  • Hospices
  • Primary Care
  • Community Pharmacy
  • Substance misuse

The following care settings are currently either being discussed or there is an active proof of concept but are not approved for further rollout:

  • Dentistry (minor oral surgery and community dental providers)
  • Domiciliary Care and Care Homes
  • Optometry
  • Private GP Providers
  • Private hospitals and privately funded healthcare services
  • Ministry of Defence (reservist patients in medical centres)
  • Adult Social Care
  • Providing SCR application functionality on a mobile device

  • Sexual, contraceptive and reproductive healthcare services. 

Whilst there is an active proof of concept with a particular care setting, further roll out is not approved for that care setting. Any care setting outside the above are currently out of scope for SCR. However if you feel that there is a use case for a new care setting to access the SCR, please contact

More about 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.

With this in mind, the following settings and use cases are not in scope for SCR viewing and will not be approved for rollout for:

  • research purposes, including clinical trials
  • police and other government departments
  • non-clinical cosmetics
Last edited: 23 September 2019 3:39 pm