21st March 2011
New electronic summaries of patients’ vital health information are set to be uploaded in Sheffield this month to enable safer care in unscheduled or emergency care settings.
On the 21st March the records of the first Sheffield practice will be made available. Over 5 ½ million have already been created across England so far.
The NHS Summary Care Records (SCRs) are to allow authorised healthcare professionals in emergency care settings to access the records with patient’s consent.*
Last year 470,000 people in Sheffield were sent a letter explaining Summary Care Records, with 1% choosing to opt out.
The records will contain information about any medication people are on, allergies and any previous bad reactions to medicines to ensure those administering the care have enough information to treat patients safely.
The programme was initially aiming to be implemented in June last year, however due to the changes of the Government it has been on hold.
Dr Richard Oliver, local GP and Joint Chair of NHS Sheffield’s Clinical Executive, said:
“Following the unforeseen halt to this, the uploading of SCRs is an important step that will give patients better and safer care.
“Until now information on individual patients has been kept in separate places making it difficult for important details to be shared across organisations. This means that patients often have to repeat themselves at appointments which can lead to details being omitted.
“With the use of the SCR details such as the medications prescribed, allergies and significant other health matters can be securely shared with other health professionals no matter where they may need to go for care other than their GP practice; for example, the Walk-in Centre, Minor Injuries Unit, A&E or dentists.”
With the use of Summary Care Records, patients’ information will be available quicker and more efficiently, no matter where they may need to go for care other than their GP practice. For example, the Walk-in Centre, Minor Injuries Unit, A&E, dentists or sexual health clinics anywhere in England.
GP, Marion Sloan, said:
“SCRs are a really positive step for healthcare. Healthcare professionals will now know straight away what drugs you are taking, if you have any allergies or specific health conditions.
“I have personally experienced cases where Summary Care Records would have been extremely useful. For example, I recently had a patient who had a bad reaction to medicines prescribed to them from an out-of-hours service where, if the SCRs had been in place would not have happened.
“Thankfully in this instance the mistake was noticed and resolved quickly, however it could have been much worse so Summary Care Records will undoubtedly prove invaluable in unscheduled or emergency care.”
Records from the second Sheffield practice will be available from early April, with a rollout plan aiming to have over 50% of Sheffield patients with a Summary Care Record by the end of the year.