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Wigan pharmacy first to access patients’ summary care records

By News team

A community pharmacy in Wigan has become the first in England to have access to summaries of its patients’ medical records as part of the Government’s national IT initiative.

Independent community pharmacist Vinod Patel last week (27 May 2011) was able to electronically access patients’ summary care records as the pilot project run by Ashton, Leigh and Wigan Primary Care Trust went live.

Under the initiative Mr Patel is authorised to look at information about a patient’s medication, allergies and adverse reactions, so long as he has first obtained patient consent.

The summary care record also shows him the patient’s six-month history of acute prescriptions and an 18-month history of repeat and discontinued prescriptions.

Mr Patel said going live "was a big step forward in terms of shared patient care and interdisciplinary working.

"Pharmacy access to a patient’s medication history will be particularly valuable when we are responding to unscheduled requests from patients or for locums needing to verify unfamiliar patient’s records."

David Holland, project manager at the PCT, said sharing patient information "can only improve our response to patients in an emergency situation or for those requiring urgent care, especially out of hours".

He said the intention now, with the support of the IT system suppliers Positive Solutions, was to roll out the scheme to all community pharmacies in the PCT by the end of the year.

A similar pharmacy pilot run by NHS Bradford and Airedale was suspended in February following a review of its scheme.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11077981

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