Milestone figure of 50 million Summary Care Records is reached

Posted on 13 March 2015 (Permalink)

A YouGov poll carried out in June 2014 revealed that 85% of the British public want any healthcare professional treating them to have secure electronic access to data held by their GP.

The Summary Care Records (SCR) Programme is working with GP practices across England to provide a way of achieving this.  As of February 2015, 50 million people in England have had an SCR created from their GP records. The NHS can now safely share key clinical information for nine out of ten people across England to support safer patient care.

SCRs are being viewed by authorised healthcare professionals at a rate of three every minute (and rising) in a number of NHS care settings, including A&E, ambulance, NHS 111, acute admissions, GP out-of-hours and pharmacy.

Having immediate access to essential medical information supports and enhances the flow of patients through episodes of care. Patients are experiencing increased satisfaction as SCR reduces the requirement on them to recall and repeat essential medical information.

The SCR is helping to improve:

  • patient safety –  supporting safer, more informed and more timely prescribing by identifying allergies and confirming details of current medications
  • the efficiency of patient care – significantly reducing the need to contact the patient’s GP practice by phone or fax, which takes time, effort and resources
  • the effectiveness of patient care – supporting the delivery of appropriate care by enabling patients to be treated in the care setting in which they present, with less need for onward referral.

The significant benefits of using SCRs and sharing health records are being recognised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Monitor.

Recently, Professor Nigel Sparrow, the Senior National GP Advisor and Responsible Officer at the CQC, said in a statement on their website:

“CQC will see evidence of use of SCRs as an indicator of an organisation’s efforts to improve patient safety and quality of care. SCRs are becoming established as a way to share clinical information for patients presenting away from the GP surgery with urgent or emergency care needs”.

Further support for uploading, enabling and using SCRs was recently reported in EHI when it said that a consultation by Monitor noted that:

“Failing to share health and social care records or care plans might be evidence of a breach of the new integrated care condition of the NHS provider licence.”

With the volume of records, regulatory expectation and increased demand from the NHS, it has been recognised by users that even greater benefit would be derived from an enriched SCR, especially for patients with complex health needs. As a result the SCR programme is currently working with GP system suppliers to develop this capability during 2015.

For more information on how to get access to the SCR, contact Richard at or follow on Twitter at @rmcstaySCR.