What is a Summary Care Record?
The NHS in England has introduced the Summary Care Record, an electronic health record that can be accessed when you need urgent treatment from somebody other than your own GP.
Summary Care Records contain key information about the medicines you are taking, allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines you have had in the past. You will be able to add other information too if you and your GP agree that it is a good idea to do so.
If you have an accident or fall ill, the people caring for you in places like accident and emergency departments and GP out of hours services will be better equipped to treat you if they have this information. Your Summary Care Record will be available to authorised healthcare staff whenever and wherever you need treatment in England, and they will ask your permission before they look at it.
Please do not confuse Summary Care Records with the care.data scheme, which is an entirely different initiative and database.
Who Can See It?
Only healthcare staff involved in your care can see your Summary Care Record. Those who look at your Summary Care Record need to:
- be directly involved in caring for you;
- have a Smartcard with a chip and pass code (like a bank card and PIN).
Healthcare staff will only see the information they need to do their job, and they will ask your permission every time they need to look at your Summary Care Record.
If they can’t ask you, for example if you are unconscious, they may look at your Summary Care Record without your permission. If they do this, they will make a note on your record to say why they have done this.
As a patient you have a choice:
Yes, I would like a Summary Care Record. If you want a record you do not need to do anything further, one will be created for you automatically. If you opted out of having a record in the past but have now changed your mind, let us know and we can create one for you.
No, I do not want a Summary Care Record. If you do not want a record, you need to fill in the Summary Care Record Opt Out Form and return it to us. You should do this even if you have already completed a form at your previous practice.
You are free to change your decision at any time by informing us.
Children under 16 will automatically have a Summary Care Record created for them unless their parent or guardian chooses to opt them out. If you are the parent or guardian of a child under 16 and feel that they are old enough to understand, please tell them about Summary Care Records and explain the options available to them.
For further information visit the Health & Social Care Information Centre
Enriching SCRs with Additional Information
What is Summary Care Records with Additional Information?
Additional information is a summary of the information recorded by your GP practice about you and will include the following (when this is present in your GP health record):
Your long term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart problems or rare medical conditions
Your relevant medical history – clinical procedures that you have had, why you need a particular medicine, the care you are currently receiving and clinical advice to support your future care
Your health care preferences – you may have your own care preferences which will make caring for you more in line with your needs, such as special dietary requirements
Your personal preferences – you may have personal preferences, such as religious beliefs or legal decisions that you would like to be known
Immunisations – details of previous vaccinations, such as tetanus and routine childhood jabs
Specific sensitive information such as any fertility treatments, sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy terminations or gender reassignment will not be included, unless you specifically ask for any of these items to be included.
How will Additional Information help me?
Essential details about your healthcare can be very difficult to remember, particularly when you are unwell. Having additional information in your SCR means that when you need healthcare, you will be helped to recall this vital information.
There are already clear benefits for your care from having medication, allergy and adverse reaction information available through your SCR. If you choose to add additional information, this can further increase the quality of your care. Additional information can also empower you if you need some help to communicate your complex care needs.
How do I include Additional Information in my Summary Care Record?
If you want to add additional information to your SCR you need to fill in Consent form Summary Care Record with Additional Information. If you opted out of having a record in the past but have now changed your mind, let us know and we can create one for you.