Half of English pharmacies now access summary care records (SCR), giving them the chance to earn back over £600 they will lose from funding cuts.
Nearly 6,000 pharmacies use SCR – key clinical information sourced from patients’ GP records – just one year after pharmacy access to the technology was rolled out nationwide, NHS Digital announced today (8 December).
Proven access to SCR is one of the criteria pharmacies can meet to earn cash from the Quality Payments Scheme, a points-based system for meeting certain requirements. Meeting the SCR objective is worth 10 points – totalling £640 – under the scheme, which was introduced as part of the DH’s 2016/17 funding package.
Sector trained to use SCR
NHS Digital said that more than 20,000 pharmacy professionals have completed online SCR training, and 90% of community pharmacies have taken part in briefing sessions to help them implement the technology.
The top 10 pharmacies for SCR usage access it 50 times per week on average, it added.
Programme head for integrated pharmacy at NHS Digital Mohammed Hussain said: “It is really encouraging that half of community pharmacies now have access to SCR, allowing them to support patients with better informed and tailored care.”
Nazam Iqbal, a pharmacist working at Manor Pharmacy (Blundell’s Pharmacy Ltd) in Leigh, said that SCR had become “an invaluable tool to help pharmacists make a better clinical judgement”. Setting up the technology was “simple and easy”, he added.
NHS Digital said that more SCR briefing events for independent pharmacies will be arranged in the new year. Pharmacies who have not yet accessed SCR can view further guidance on the implementation and training process on its website, it added.