Mark SayManaging EditorWednesday 27 September 2017

NHS Digital pushes wider use of SCRs

Executive director reports on progress in making patient records available to homeless organisation, mental health and ambulance trusts in Gloucestershire

NHS Digital has been working with a clinical commissioning group (CCG) and commissioning support unit (CSU) to make patients’ summary care records (SCRs) available to other care organisations.

Stephoscope on laptop keyboardEve Roodhouse, executive director at NHS Digital, is to provide details today in a speech at the UK Health Show, along with a call for organisations to make more use of the electronic record of patient information.

“We’ve been working with Gloucestershire CCG and the CSU to realise the benefits of uploading and sharing additional information across the health community,” she is expected to say.

“More than 16,000 records across the county have been uploaded in addition to the standard SCR data, with Gloucestershire Hospitals Trust leading the way with using this information to care for patients.

“With the support of the emergency departments, we supported the CSU in engaging with custody suites, the homeless centre and the mental health and community trusts and we are now working with the ambulance trust to extend viewing even further.”

Increased integration

The move marks a step towards the increased integration of care by making basic patient information available beyond GP and hospital digital systems.

SCRs are already available to most pharmacies in England, and should be available to any authorised clinician in the country.

The speech will focus on the need for organisations to work in partnership to make technology and data work for the frontline and for patients. As part of this, Roodhouse will emphasise the need for a continuous dialogue between different care agencies, at a local and national level, in the design of digital technologies and data sharing.

“It makes sense that services like Spine, the Electronic Prescription Service, e-referrals and NHS Mail, which are massively important to connecting health and care professionals, are delivered centrally as standardised, secure products,” she will say. “Everybody needs them and will use them for the same type of basic activity.”

Other features in her speech include a report that 45,000 people per day are now using the e-Referrals Service to make appointments, and that the NHS is aiming to make this the norm for outpatients by October of next year.

Image by jfcherry, CC BY-SA 2.0 through flickr