Increasing the amount of information held in electronic summary care records is improving care and helping to ease winter pressures, NHS Digital has announced.

Every four seconds a health or care professional, such as pharmacists, accesses a patient’s summary care record (SCR), which contains important details from GP medical records, such as their medication, allergies and adverse reactions, to support care. Additional information, including long-term health conditions, medical history and immunisations can also be included in the SCR, if patients give their GP consent to share it.

This improves the quality of care and reduces the burden on the health service when it is under the greatest pressure, such as in winter, by saving time for patients and those treating them.

James Hawkins, director of digital transformation and engagement at NHS Digital, which developed the SCR, said: “This is an invaluable tool which 96 per cent of people now benefit from. Uploading additional information to the SCR increases its benefits and enables clinicians to provide the best care possible to patients as they have more details available at their fingertips.

“This also means patients won’t have to repeatedly provide the same information, especially when they are feeling unwell, and this can help save time when health services are busy as well as potentially avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions.”

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