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SCR version 2 will be less 'clunky', promises NHS Digital

Mohammed Hussain: Current pharmacy access to SCR is a blunt instrument
Mohammed Hussain: Current pharmacy access to SCR is a blunt instrument

The next version of the summary care record (SCR) "will be much better", NHS Digital’s programme head for integrated pharmacy has said.

Mohammed Hussain said he could “guarantee” that “version 2.0 [of SCR] will be much better”, enabling pharmacists to do “much more”.

Mr Hussain was speaking at the Avicenna conference in Wales last month (April 30), which this year explored 'the good, the bad and the ugly' of community pharmacy.

Owning two pharmacies with SCR access himself, Mr Hussain acknowledged that SCR is “perhaps a slightly blunt instrument” and “a bit clunky”.

The number of pharmacists accessing SCR regularly are “still low”, Mr Hussain said, with the “overwhelming majority” not viewing it at all. But there are “some” pharmacists who view SCR “many times every day”.

“It's been a massive change for pharmacy," he added. "It is a stepping stone."

Last year, NHS England’s assistant head of primary care Jill Loader said she was "very disappointed" that the average record viewing per pharmacy is "0.3 a week", despite 82% of pharmacies having completed training on SCR access at the time.

“The good, the bad and the ugly”

Mr Hussain was one of a number of speakers who attended independent support group Avicenna's annual conference.

At the conference, delegates shared views on Brexit and the funding cuts.

A short video before CEO Salim Jetha’s opening speech explained what Avicenna thought was the link between community pharmacy and the 1966 Western film.

In its version, the ‘bad’ was “resources drying up”; the ‘ugly’ was “3,000 pharmacies in danger of closing”; and the ‘good’ was “pharmacies succeeding in delivering healthcare”.

Watch the full video below:

What's putting you off from accessing a patient's SCR? Let C+D know in the comments below or by emailing [email protected]

13 Comments
Question: 
Do you access SCR in your pharmacy?

Nat Mitchell, Community pharmacist

I'm comfortable with SCR. At the turn of the year our surgery stopped 3rd party handling of scripts. Lots of orders went missing and SCR was one of the ways I could try to find them. They are now losing fewer orders (or the patients are going straight to them as they know it's not our doing). This quarter I've rarely needed to use SCR for this purpose so may well financially lose out. Access has nothing to do with your 'quality' but more your circumstances. 

Matthew Edwards, Community pharmacist

As far as quality payments I would suggest that there be a top limit.  So an increase in usage is to be demonstrated upto a maximum of 100 times for example.  As long as the 100 times is reached then you automatically achieve the quality payments criteria. That means those who use SCR infrequently still have to demonstrate improved usage whereas those comfortable in it's use are not unfairly stretched. 

Dave Downham, Manager

Problem is that 100 is an arbitary number. Quite simply, it's a stupid thing to be paid for.

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

It shouldn't, no.  It's a fantastic tool for the sector to use and should eventually become part of our daily routine when dealing with patients face to face.  But it has and it should be done fairly.

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

And of course, read/write access will be included, yes?

Dave Downham, Manager

The way quality payements is structured, there is a disincentive to access SCR more than minimally, so no wonder usage is low. 1>0 = £320, 2>1 = £320 etc.

SydBashford Sold&Retired&DeRegistered, Community pharmacist

Absolutely agree. I have even organised a system to ensure we ONLY increase access 1/2 times more each half year to ensure still get payment. Those pharmacies accessing and using are having a tough time to get payment rather than being rewarded for its use ! They must change the payment criteria for this one!

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

How about some sort of tiered target, like how NMS was first launched?  Less than 3000 items = 6 views a month, 6000 items = 12 views a month, etc

Clive Hodgson, Community pharmacist

But would that not just encourage unnecessary access purely to reach the target and get the payment?

SCR access should not have been linked to any form of incentive payment. You can easily see how a Media expose could play it..."Pharmacists access confidential patient records for cash".

Access should be a clinical decision only.

Joan Richardson, Locum pharmacist

Exactly.  How long before someone is up in front of the GPhC after being pressurised to access SCR simply to get the payment?

 

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

It's just a matter of time.......

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

It shouldn't, no.  It's a fantastic tool for the sector to use and should eventually become part of our daily routine when dealing with patients face to face.  But it has and it should be done fairly.

Dave Downham, Manager

I don't disagree, but the current mechanism penalises usage! Until that changes, the finger will be pointed that pharmacies/pharmacists are not using the tools available which would be a massive shame.

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