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Community pharmacy

Pharmacists' use of summary care record is 'disappointing', says senior NHS England official

A senior NHS England official has described pharmacists’ use of the summary care record (SCR) as “quite disappointing”.

Speaking at The Pharmacy Show on 7 October 2019 in Birmingham, Jill Loader deputy director of pharmacy commissioning at NHS England and NHS Improvement emphasised the importance of using the SCR when delivering on the ‘NHS long term plan’.

“The SCR is really important to make sure when we’re giving urgent medicines supply, providing clinical services. When we’re talking about discharge medicines, we make sure that patients are safe,” she said.

But she added: “It’s quite disappointing — the use of the SCR — when we said to people, we wanted you to increase the use of it, the ones that really disappointed us were the ones that went from one viewing to two.”

“How many times have you sat in this kind of room where everyone says — we want access to the patient’s record — and when we give it to people and they don’t use it,” she continued.

An analysis by The Pharmaceutical Journal in October 2018 revealed a “long tail” of community pharmacies only using the SCR once or twice per month.

However, the number of pharmacies that do not access the SCR in a typical week decreased from 10,398 in 2018 to 304 as of 2 August 2019.

Loader noted that there are pharmacies “who have really adopted it into practice, and are really using it effectively and are really using it clinically, which is fantastic”.

Every pharmacy looking to offer the community pharmacist consultation service, which launches on 29 October 2019, will have to be able to access the SCR, according to NHS England specifications.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20207169

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