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Summary Care Record

The Summary Care Record (SCR) is an electronic record of important patient information, created from GP medical records. It can be seen and utilised by authorised staff in other areas of the health and care system involved in the patients’ direct care. The SCR is created automatically through clinical systems in GP practices and uploaded securely to the Spine, which is the IT infrastructure of the NHS, and it is updated automatically when information is added / changed in the patient record. Additional information can be added to the SCR, known as SCR AI, with express patient consent, by the GP. The additional information dataset can be included automatically by changing the patient's consent status in the GP clinical system.

How SCR and SCR AI works

Access to SCR information means that care in other settings is safer, reducing the risk of errors in patient care. It also helps avoid delays to urgent care.

At a minimum, the SCR holds important information about the patients;

  • current medication
  • allergies and details of any previous bad reactions to medicines
  • the name, address, date of birth and NHS number of the patient

The patient can also choose to include additional information in the SCR (SCR AI), such as details of long-term conditions, significant medical history, or specific communications needs.  There are some codes, agreed with the RCGP which are suppressed and not pulled through to the SCR automatically, these are sensitive information like fertility treatments, sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy terminations and gender reassignment.

Over 98% of practices are now using this system. For patients who are registered with a GP practice in England the SCR is created automatically, unless they chose to opt-out. If a patient does want to opt-out, they can complete an opt-out form and return it to the GP practice.

The SCR can be viewed by health and care staff, and viewing is now being rolled out to community pharmacies.  SCRs can be viewed through clinical systems or through the SCRa web viewer, from a machine logged in to the secure NHS network, using a smartcard with the appropriate Role Based Access Control codes set.