A new information sharing tool to support person centred coordinated care that isn’t new

Andy Carr,
Summary Care Record Clinical Advisor,
Health & Social Care Information Centre

I’m in the very fortunate position to have worked on the Summary Care Record (SCR) since it was first conceived late in 2006. The first records were created in 2007 & national rollout began in 2010.

As a minimum SCRs contain information about medications, any known allergies and adverse reactions from a patient’s GP record. Today over 96% of the population in England has an SCR and last year 2.5 million episodes of care were better informed by clinical staff viewing the SCR with the patient’s permission.

There are lots of videos, case studies, factsheets, and storyboards available which describe a variety of different ways that the SCR has made a difference to direct care. If, like me, cartoons are more your thing then we’ve even got them too!

So the Summary Care Record (SCR) isn’t new. What is new though is the improved way in which it can be enriched with additional information so that it supports person centred coordinated care better than ever before. We have worked with GP system suppliers to develop a simpler and more efficient mechanism for GP practices to populate SCRs with a set of additional information from a patient’s GP record rather than having to manually add individual items. Over 95% of GP practices now have this capability.

Additional information is only added to the record with the patient’s explicit consent, which is enduring so the SCR can be kept up to date in real time. When the SCR consent status is updated in the GP record a richer SCR with a set of additional information is created. This enriched SCR will include:

  • significant medical history (past and present);
  • information about the management of long term conditions;
  • immunisations;
  • patient preferences – such end of life care information, particular care needs and communication preferences.

More information about how the SCR can be enriched, and details of what will & won’t be included if a patient’s consent status is changed is available from “Enriching SCRs with additional information.” This includes guidance and considerations for those patients who lack capacity to consent.

It’s fantastic to see the SCR today as the mature information sharing tool that it has evolved into, and the exciting plans we have for it to grow and develop in the future.

The immediate challenge is making sure that patients, healthcare staff providing care, and organisations commissioning, transforming and delivering health and care services are aware of the availability of the SCR and the potential it has to support them right now.

Find out more about the SCR, how to implement it in your area, and how it will continue to evolve in the future at www.hscic.gov.uk/scr or contact the team directly at scr.comms@hscic.gov.uk or via Twitter @NHSSCR.

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