Summary Care Record
The SCR is an electronic record of important patient information, created from GP medical records. It can be seen and used by authorised staff in other areas of the health and care system involved in the patient’s direct care.
If you are registered with a GP practice in England, you will have a Summary Care Record (SCR) unless you have chosen not to have one. Your SCR contains the following basic information:
- the medicines you are taking
- your allergies
- bad reactions you may have to certain medicines
It also includes your name, address, date of birth and unique NHS Number which helps to identify you correctly.
An SCR is used in a number of healthcare settings and will provide healthcare professionals with any information they wouldn’t otherwise have. For example, when you’re visiting an urgent care centre or being admitted to a hospital, staff could view your SCR and discover you are on a particular medication or have allergies.
Watch or download the materials below for more detailed examples
- Why a hospital pharmacy may need to view your SCR (PDF, 309kb)
- Why another GP may need to check your SCR (PDF, 1.38Mb)
- Video: How SCR works for hospital admissions
- Video: How SCR work away from home
- Video: Access to SCR in emergency situations
Can I add more information to my Summary Care Record?
You can choose to add any information to your SCR that you think will help improve your care. This can be of particular benefit to patients with detailed and complex health problems. You and/or your carer should discuss anything you wish to add with your GP.
If you are a parent or guardian of a child under 16 and feel that your child is able to understand this information you should show it to them. You can then support them in the decision to maintain an SCR and whether to include additional information.
Also read the advice leaflet adding more information to your record (PDF, 420kb).
Who can access or view my SCR?
Only authorised healthcare professionals directly involved in your care can access your SCR. Your SCR will not be used for any other purposes. The person viewing your SCR:
- needs to have an NHS Smartcard with a chip and passcode
- will only see the information they need to do their job
- will have their details recorded every time they look at your record
In addition, the healthcare professional must seek your permission if they need to look at your SCR. If they cannot ask you because you are unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate, they may decide to look at your record because doing so is in your best interest. This access is recorded and checked by the Privacy Officer of the organisation to ensure it is appropriate. Find out more about information governance from NHS Digital.
Can I opt out of having a Summary Care Record?
You can choose to opt out of having an SCR at any time. If you do opt out, you need to let your GP practice know by filling in an opt-out form (PDF, 245.9kb). If you are unsure whether you have already opted out, you should talk to the staff at your GP practice.
If you change your mind, simply ask your GP to create a new SCR for you. For more information about Summary Care Records, contact email@example.com, phone 0300 303 5678 or visit NHS Digital’s website.
- read the Summary Care Record patient leaflet (PDF, 281kb)
- watch more videos about SCR on the NHS Digital’s YouTube channel
Choose if data from your health records is shared for research and planning
The current NHS Digital (NHSD) extract of GP data for Research purposes (known as the GPDPR) has been delayed due to NHSD wishing to review the way in which this data will be collected, to conduct more public involvement and information about the plans and change the way in which patients can opt out of the extract of their GP data.
Currently the only way to opt out is to complete a Type 1 opt out form and return this to the practice by the 1st September. However, this extract will not be taken until the NHSD have changed the way it will take the data and respect the patient’s choice for using their data. NHSD are introducing the following changes to the opt out process which will mean that patients will be able to change their opt-out status at any time:-
- Patients do not need to register a Type 1 opt-out by 1st September to ensure their GP data will not be uploaded.
- NHS Digital will create the technical means to allow GP data that has previously been uploaded to the system via the GPDPR collection to be deleted when someone registers a Type 1 opt-out.
- The plan to retire Type 1 opt-outs will be deferred for at least 12 months while we get the new arrangements up and running and will not be implemented without consultation with the RCGP, the BMA and the National Data Guardian.
This means that you can opt out at any time in the future and NHSD will delete data that they already have taken for research purposes, the deadline of the 01/09/2020 has been delayed until a new system of opt out is developed. Hopefully, this will be a simple centralised approach via the NHS app or NHS website to avoid paper form and administration work for your GP.
We will update you when we know more about the NHSD plans to change how you can control who has access to your data.