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Senior GPs back read-write SCR access for pharmacists

Maureen Baker: Pharmacists need "most up-to-date information" to ensure they "play their part" in patient care

Royal College of General Practitioners chair Maureen Baker says allowing pharmacists to amend the summary care record will help them use it "most successfully"


Senior GPs have supported the sector’s calls for pharmacists to have full read-write access to the summary care record (SCR).

The Health and Social Care Information Centre announced last month (June 23) that NHS England had commissioned it to spend £7.5 million of government funding to give every English pharmacy access to the SCR, with rollout beginning in autumn.

Pharmacy bodies called for SCR rollout to be expanded to allow pharmacists to amend the record, and Royal College of General Practitioners chair Maureen Baker agreed that this would enable the sector to use the SCR “most successfully”.

Providing pharmacists with the “most up-to-date information” would help them to “play their part” to improve patient care, Ms Baker told C+D at the Health + Care commissioning show last month (June 25). “What clinicians across the board need is reliable, timely and accurate information,” she added.

National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) chair and GP Nav Chana said it “made sense” for pharmacists to have full read-write access. This was a “real opportunity” to better integrate the care provided by the two professions, he stressed.

Community pharmacy was an “untapped resource” and enhanced records access would enable the sector to reduce GPs workload by promoting medicines optimisation and managing patients with minor illnesses, he said. 

NAPC president and GP James Kingsland added that anyone involved in patient care should be able to “interact, input and update” records. The SCR access rollout was a “very rudimentary start” towards this, Dr Kingsland said.

“The SCR is helpful, but it gives very basic information. The detail of the patients’ needs and current treatment [from their] healthcare team is still not accessible,” he added.


How would read-write records access improve your service to patients?

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Bob Dunkley, Locum pharmacist

With our being able to add to SCR then could this not be used to track patients OTC purchases? I am particularly concerned with the purchases of P medicines, specifically those containing codeine. To purchase these items a patient would have to give a name and address or have a proof of address. This could be used to identify those patients who are taking more than they should.

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