NHS England is “absolutely committed” to investigating whether pharmacists should be able to amend patient records, C+D has learned.
The national commissioning body will work with the sector to consider how write access for pharmacy would operate, NHS England head of business systems and information Richard Jefferson told C+D at the Pharmacy Show on Sunday (October 18).
The government in June pledged £7.5 million to partially fund the rollout of read access to the summary care record (SCR) for every English pharmacy, and Mr Jefferson said NHS England’s investigation into write access will run “parallel” to this.
“Obviously if the investigation proves that there is evidence to support [write access] then we can look at extending [the scheme],” he said.
NHS England would also seek the view of patients to ensure any attempt to amend records “ticked all the right boxes around consent”, he added.
In August, pharmacy bodies hit back at a “wholly misleading” Daily Telegraph article that highlighted concerns pharmacies will “exploit” summary SCR access to “push sales of their products”.
The previous month, senior GPs threw their support behind pharmacists’ calls to be granted read-write records access.