The rollout of the summary care record (SCR) to all pharmacies in England will begin at the end of November, C+D has learned.
Pharmacies will have to cover the upfront costs of implementing read-only SCR access – originally scheduled to begin this autumn – and will receive a “fixed, one-off payment” after they go live, the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) told C+D yesterday (October 26).
The organisation would not confirm how much it expected implementation to cost contractors, but said costs would include the “co-ordination of the evidence that the pharmacy [team] are ready to access SCR”, as well as staff training and any “technical changes needed".
The government has already pledged £7.5 million to partially fund the rollout of SCR access across the country. This money will be used to cover the one-off payment to contractors, but also to "explore new capabilities" for the SCR, such as giving pharmacists full read-write access, HSCIC told C+D.
NHS England, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Commitee (PSNC), and the Department of Health are still agreeing the "mechanism" by which contractors will be reimbursed, HSCIC said.
The rollout “will differ according to the area and organisation”, HSCIC stressed. It pledged to publish further information on its website "as we receive more definitive implementation plans".
At least one person per pharmacy must attend a face-to-face briefing session about the SCR before their team is granted access to the record.
HSCIC told C+D it expects SCR coverage to "significantly increase" in the "early part" of next year.
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