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Government's £7.5m will not 'fully fund' SCR rollout

HSCIC is "optimistic" that the "vast majority" of pharmacies will have SCR access by April 2017

Funding earmarked to enable access to the summary care record across England is only “intended to support and encourage uptake", says HSCIC

EXCLUSIVE

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”.

 

How much money should the government have allocated for the SCR rollout?

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4 Comments

Stephen Eggleston, Community pharmacist

"Disappointed" doesn't even come close!

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

I told you this is exactly what is going to happen !! Where are those people who called us pessimists ??? I will tell again, the £15m announced and reported on the other thread will meet the same fate !!

Z ZZzzzz, Information Technology

Is anyone surprised at this latest development? It was like throwing a party and asking everyone to bring their own food, drink, party favours etc etc etc. Well done to all concerned that were involved in rolling out this latest piece of nonsense. (The supposed funding that is.) The concept of accessing SCR is basically sound, but not as it is proposed at this moment. Without read-write access there is virtually no point. Any cr*p that pharmacists find on the SCR will remain so as most GP practices ignore any feedback we give them as to suggesting changes to more suitable meds, dosage directions, pack sizes etc etc etc. At least with read-write access they could not ignore what we suggest. Or is that the sticking point.

Richard Judge, Manager

I'll guess at £2.5m to NHS England to cover their rollout department, £2.5m to HSCIC to cover their administration costs, 2.5m to BT or some other infrastructure provider to cover systems and a bill to pharmacies to cover training, information governance, local IT systems, publicity and of course hundreds and thousands of patient consent forms. The £2100 from the EPSr2 rollout has run out now.

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