Summary Care Records
What is a summary care record (SCR)?
A summary care record is an electronic record which contains information about the medicines you take, allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to the medicines you have had.
Having this information stored in one place makes it easier for healthcare staff to treat you in an emergency, or when your GP practice is closed.
Benefits to patients
SCR’s are accessible to authorised healthcare staff treating patients in an emergency in England. This is particularly useful when a patient cannot give information (for example when they are unconscious) or when they are away from home and unable to see their own GP.
Patient’s care can be supported by healthcare staff having faster access to their medical information and safer prescribing is supported as healthcare staff will have information regarding a patient’s allergies, adverse reaction and medication they are currently taking.
Healthcare professionals will always ask the patient’s permission to access their summary care record unless the patient is unconscious or unable to communicate.
If you do not wish to have a summary care record please ask at reception for an ‘opt out form.’
Better information means better care
Using information about the care you have received enables those involved in providing care and health services to improve the quality of care and health services for all. The role of the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) is to ensure that high quality information is used appropriately to improve patient care.
NHS England has therefore commissioned a program of work on behalf of the NHS, public health and social care services to address gaps in information. Their aim is to ensure that the best possible evidence is available to improve the quality of care for all.
The new system will provide joined-up information about the care received from all of the different parts of the health service, including hospitals and GP practices.
Your date of birth, full postcode, NHS Number and gender rather than your name will be used to link your records in a secure system, managed by the HSCIC. Once this information has been linked, a new record will be created. This new record will not contain information that identifies you. The type of information shared, and how it is shared, is controlled by law and strict confidentiality rules.
Sharing information about the care you have received will help to understand the health needs of everyone and the quality of the treatment and care provided and reduce inequalities in the care provided. The new system will also provide information that will enable the public to hold the NHS to account and ensure that any unacceptable standards of care are identified as quickly as possible. Information will help to:
- find more effective ways of preventing, treating and managing illnesses
- make sure that any changes or improvements to services reflect the needs of the local patients
- understand who is most at risk of particular diseases and conditions, so those who can plan care can provide preventative services
- improve your understanding of the outcomes of care, giving you greater confidence in health and social care services
- identify who could be at risk of a condition or would benefit from a particular treatment
- make sure that the NHS organisations receive the correct payments for the services they provide
- improve the public’s understanding of the outcomes of care, giving them confidence in health and care services
- guide decisions about how to manage NHS resources so that they can best support the treatment and management of illness for all patients
There are some concerns that this data will be accessible to third parties such as insurance companies and that people could be identified, but this is being looked at.
If you choose to opt out, it is possible to opt back in again at any stage.
If you don’t opt out, the information cannot be retrieved at a later date.
If you do not wish to have a Care Data record please ask for an opt out form at reception.