Uptake of the Summary Care Record among community pharmacies in England has reached 50 per cent, in nearly 6,000 pharmacies, NHS Digital has said. Some pharmacies are already accessing the record as often as 50 times a week.

From April, use of the SCR will become a qualifying measure under the Quality Payments Scheme for community pharmacy.

Mohammed Hussain, programme head for integrated pharmacy at NHS Digital, said: “It is really encouraging that half of community pharmacies now have access to SCR, allowing them to support patients with better informed and tailored care."

More than 20,000 pharmacy professionals have completed online SCR training, and almost 90 per cent of community pharmacies have participated in briefing sessions to support their implementation of SCR. Rollout of SCR to community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians began a year ago.

Nazam Iqbal, a pharmacist working at Manor Pharmacy (Blundell’s Pharmacy Ltd) in Leigh, said: “The process of setting up the SCR viewer was simple and easy. I can use it when delivering services such as the flu jab, or when an issue arises with the emergency supply of medication. It is an invaluable tool to help pharmacists make a better clinical judgement, with all the relevant information available to them.” 

SCR results in improved clinical decision-making, reduced patient waiting times and fewer calls to GP surgeries, suggests NHS Digital.

Guidance on completing the implementation and training process is available on the NHS Digital website for community pharmacies yet to access SCR, says the body, adding that additional briefing events on SCR for independent pharmacies will be held next year.

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