Leaders of two pharmacy chains have criticised the "patchy" rollout of the summary care record (SCR) to their pharmacies.
The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) told C+D last week that more than 150 pharmacies now have access to the SCR, including some branches of Day Lewis. But the chain's chief executive Kirit Patel told C+D that the rollout of records access to his pharmacies has been delayed by the "very slow" process of upgrading staff's smartcards.
"There is a hold up there. [NHS England] hasn't kept pace in upgrading smartcards. When they sort that out, we want to make sure our pharmacists are accessing records," he said last week (January 15).
Some NHS England teams have been "better than others", Mr Patel added.
Two hundred Day Lewis pharmacists and technicians have completed the necessary training for accessing the SCR and have asked for their smartcards to be upgraded, he said. Mr Patel could not say how many of these request have been successfully processed.
Whitworth: Many "unanswered questions"
Pharmacy chain Whitworth has branches in Sheffield – the first area to take part in the rollout – and Greater Manchester, which joined the rollout this month. Its managing director Jay Badenhorst told C+D that the chain will not take part in the SCR initiative until he has written confirmation from HSCIC that it will reimburse pharmacists for the time they spend at compulsory SCR training sessions.
HSCIC is "very difficult to engage with", and has failed to answer important questions on information governance, he said.
The role of the privacy officer – a nominated member of staff that can audit a pharmacy's access to patient records – is still unclear, he stressed. "There’s very little guidance around what workload is involved with that role," he told C+D.
"I want to [take part in the rollout], but there are still some unanswered questions that are absolutely crucial before we [take part]," he added.
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