Press Release

RPS publishes an SCR decision tool for pharmacists in England

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has produced a decision tool for community pharmacists as a guide to pharmacists in England accessing a patient’s electronic Summary Care Record (SCR).

SCRs are an electronic summary of key clinical information about patients taken from their NHS GP record. Authorised healthcare professionals in England who join a controlled scheme can view a patient’s SCR, once the patient has consented, to find out clinical information required for clinical decision making.

Rollout of access to SCRs to community pharmacies in England was announced last year. The service has been commissioned by NHS England and community pharmacists will receive a one-off allowance of £200 for joining the scheme. Pharmacy contractors have to prove compliance with a number of regulations governing access to and use of the information before being allowed to enrol.

To support community pharmacists in this new role, the RPS’s decision tool is designed to aid professional judgement. It includes a decision making matrix, which covers governance requirements for accessing a patient’s SCR, plus potential scenarios where there may be a professional clinical need to do so. These scenarios include; supplying medicines in an emergency, finding out about allergies and checking potential medicine interactions with over the counter medicines. 

The tool can be used alongside the RPS support guide for pharmacists accessing a patient’s Summary Care Record. 

Further information on the current status of Electronic Health Records (EHR) for England, Scotland and Wales can be found on the Electronic Health Record page on the RPS website.