A parliamentary motion calling for pharmacies to have access to patient records has been backed by 16 MPs, C+D has learned.
The early day motion, submitted by Labour MP David Anderson on November 25, said community pharmacists could play a greater role if they had access to patient information that was not “fragmented or incomplete”.
At the time of publications, the document had been signed by MPs from the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Democratic Unionist parties, as well as one independent MP. In the motion, Mr Anderson noted that NHS England was piloting pharmacy access to the summary care record (SCR) in five regions, with the results due in March 2015.
He encouraged MPs to join a round table meeting with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society last week (December 2) to discuss the merits of sharing patient records.
At the meeting, all-party pharmacy group vice-chair Oliver Colvile said the government was “very supportive” of giving pharmacists access to records. Mr Colvile, Conservative MP for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport, said he had spoken to health secretary Jeremy Hunt about the issue and the Department of Health had been “rather surprised” that Mr Hunt was “so enthusiastic” about it.
“I don’t lose an opportunity to talk about how pharmacists should have much more responsibility,” he told the meeting.
NHS England systems commissioning manager Mohammed Hussain told the meeting that in 10 years time people would be “amazed” that pharmacists had worked without access to shared healthcare information.
“I had a gentlemen who was epileptic [and] had left the medication at home," said Mr Hussain, whose own pharmacy is trialling SCR access. "Normally we’d have to send them to NHS 111 or an out-of-hours GP, but because we were able to access the SCR - with their consent - I was able to make a supply.”
In October, Mr Hunt told C+D that more than 40 deaths could have been prevented last year if pharmacists had access to patient records.