The law should be changed so that pharmacies continue to have access to full patient Summary Care Records (SCR) after the COVID-19 pandemic, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) have said.
The two bodies wrote to NHS England and NHS Improvement, NHS Digital and NHSX, calling for legislation to extend access to the additional information that is included in some SCRs.
Under the Coronavirus Bill, pharmacy teams have been able to access the SCR with additional information, as well as Local Health and Care Record (LHCR) medicines-related information.
The two pharmacy bodies said that LHCR access should be standard for pharmacy professionals. The letter states that to “provide the person-centred services to support the NHS Long Term Plan, as specified by the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF), community pharmacists will need comprehensive access to electronic health records”.
“It is important that we build a more digitally connected NHS and giving pharmacists continued access to the additional information in Summary Care Records is a good place to start,” said Claire Anderson, chair of the RPS English Pharmacy Board.
“We support the ongoing work to set common clinical standards, which allows crucial information to flow across the health system. Ensuring that community pharmacy is part of that system is critical in providing better patient care.”
Alastair Buxton, director of NHS services at the PSNC, said, “Access to this additional information during the pandemic has been crucial for pharmacy teams and it would be a retrograde step if the amount of detail available to them reverts to its pre-pandemic level”.