The £7.5 million pledged by the government for the rollout of summary care record (SCR) access will not “fully fund” the project, C+D has learned.
The funding, which the government announced last month to support the rollout across every English pharmacy, was “intended to support and encourage uptake", the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) told C+D.
But the money would "not fully fund every element of deployment”, and pharmacists would have to pay for any “additional resource” themselves, it said last week (July 2).
The £7.5m would support “training, smartcard updates, information governance processes, technical support and stakeholder engagement", HSCIC said.
The amount had been agreed “on the basis of evidence" from a pilot that granted SCR access to 140 pharmacies between September 2014 and March 2015, it said.
HSCIC was working with NHS England to decide how it would distribute the funding and implement the rollout across England, it said.
The rollout is due to begin in autumn, and HSCIC added that it was “optimistic” that the “vast majority” of pharmacies would have access to the SCR by April 2017.
Pharmacy organisations' engagement with the plans suggested that the sector was "extremely keen" to have SCR access, HSCIC said.
HSCIC announced in June that NHS England had commissioned it to provide all pharmacists and technicians with “secure, approved and monitored" access to the SCR. Pharmacy minister Alistair Burt said at the time that the government would invest “up to £7.5m” to “give community pharmacists the training and tools they need to access a patient’s SCR”.