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C+D readers cautiously welcome SCR access rollout

Amish Patel: Current government funding will not go far enough

Readers have praised plans to give English pharmacies access to patients' summary care record, but contractor Amish Patel has questioned whether it will be adequately funded


C+D readers have cautiously welcomed government plans to give every pharmacy in England access to patient records, but warned that the sector must be prepared for the extra responsibility.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre announced on Tuesday (June 23) that NHS England had commissioned it to spend £7.5 million of government funding to give every English pharmacy access to patients' summary care record (SCR), with rollout beginning in autumn.

Readers posting on the C+D site said the project would ensure “better patient care” and save pharmacists “a lot of time and energy”.

But community pharmacist Dilip Shah warned that pharmacists would have to "ensure they were up to date with clinical knowledge" and "competent" to make decisions using the SCR. 

Others raised concerns over the “increased liability” pharmacists would have for patient harm once they could access records. Staffordshire LPC said its members had brought up the issue, while community pharmaisty Leroy Jackson predicted the move would give pharmacists “more work [and] more responsibility” for no extra pay.

Kent contractor Amish Patel raised concerns about whether the rollout would be adequately funded, while other readers used Twitter to predict that there would be teething problems with the system.

Pharmacy leaders, including NHS England deputy chief pharmaceutical officer Bruce Warner, welcomed HSCIC's announcement, but stressed that pharmacists also needed the ability to amend patient records.

Labour MP Sir Kevin Barron, chair of the all-party pharmacy group (APPG) during the last parliament, echoed the calls for write access. The APPG had campaigned for the new government to implement SCR access in its first 100 days in power, and Sir Kevin said it "paved the way" for full read-write access to patient records.

"We'd like to see that in place by April 2017. I have written to new pharmacy minister Alistair Burt to seek a meeting to discuss all the recommentdations in our 100 days document," he added.


How would SCR access affect the service you give to patinets?

We want to hear your views, but please express them in the spirit of a constructive, professional debate. For more information about what this means, please click here to see our community principles and information


Yo Palumeri, Community pharmacist

yippee can now police lyrica prescribing on behalf of pfizer

Abbasali Bhimani, Pharmacy

We need to give the government a reason for keeping pharmacists in jobs. With the advent of the internet, many doctors and nurses pose as pharmacists. At least with access to SCR, we're given a chance to become the experts once again.

Raymond Anderson, Community pharmacist

What's the alternative? If We don't become more patient focused and use our clinical skills what will our role be in the future? The process of dispensing is being taken over by technicians and robots. Hospital pharmacies have very few pharmacists now, there are all on the wards. If we don't have information, such as basic diagnosis and medication, we are limited in the role we can play in supporting patients in their healthcare.

Anonymous Anonymous, Information Technology

Agreed... But where is the extra money that goes along with this extra responsibility? Many other professions are at risk of being taken over by robots e.g. accountants, solicitors, etc but they are still able to command astronomical pay... Why do we always get walked all over??!!

London Locum, Locum pharmacist

Joke of a profession. More work, responsibility and less money but all the crap.

London Locum, Locum pharmacist

Joke of a profession. More work, responsibility less money but all the crap.

B AMIN, Community pharmacist

Haha, has anyone heard of dispensing errors fiasco? Don't be too eager, think before we leap headlong! Liability, duty of care, misconduct or misuse of records (in the eyes of the law!) . We havent even started to see the end of the tunnel for EPS. 7 million is a meagre sum when you compare what ITconsultants charge to maintain and upkeep and upgrade systems. One of colleagues is very right , more work with no money , most of the money will go to infrastructure and will always overun the budget!! We will be accepting this too early at our peril!

Anonymous Anonymous, Information Technology

More work for less pay! The only profession I have ever heard of to live by this rule... What a joke!

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