National guidance on setting up shared care records across NHS providers in England — including community pharmacy — will be published by the end of 2021, NHSX has said.
The guidance is the next step towards wider implementation of shared care records in 2023/2024.
Radhika Rangaraju, programme director of digital pharmacy, optometry, dentistry, ambulance and community services at NHSX, said the guidance will include case studies where pharmacies already have access to shared care records in Dorset and East London.
Shared care records could provide pharmacists with access to GP records and hospital records, as well as information from social care and specialist clinics.
Speaking at the Clinical Pharmacy Congress on 24 September 2021, Rangaraju said: “There are some really good examples in community pharmacy where some early shoots of this work have happened.”
However, she added that NHSX — the digital arm of the NHS — has received feedback from the Community Pharmacy IT group that despite some regions having driven [access to] shared care records “off their own initiative”, additional national support is needed in “enabling those regions and community pharmacies to try and learn from the shared care record access extended to them”.
Rangaraju confirmed to The Pharmaceutical Journal that national guidance for Integrated Care Systems would be published “later this year” and would cover record-sharing across “a range” of providers, including community pharmacy.
A slide accompanying Rangaraju’s presentation said that in 2023/2024, NHSX aims to carry out an “evaluation and wider implementation of shared care records that embed information derived from community pharmacy”.
NHS England had previously said in ‘The NHS long-term plan’, published in 2019, that shared local care records would include the “functionality” in summary care records by 2023.
Local health and care records have been running in parts of the NHS since 2018, having been allocated £7.5m in government funding.