Pharmacy Voice is disappointed that the Department of Health has decided to scrap plans to carry out a pilot of the Summary Care Record Programme in pharmacies in Bradford and Airedale PCT.
Rob Darracott, Chief Executive of Pharmacy Voice, said:
“Community pharmacy access to care records has the potential to improve patient safety, support pharmacists in helping people to get the most out of their medicines and improve continuity of care. Scrapping the pilot of community pharmacy access to the Summary Care Record is an unwelcome step. In Pharmacy Voice’s response to the Information Revolution consultation, we welcomed the Government’s proposal to open up access to records, controlled by patients. Stopping the pilot seems to run completely against the ethos of improving patient access to information as a means of informing choice set out in the recent Information Revolution consultation. There would be much still to learn from a dedicated pharmacy pilot about patient attitudes to confidentiality of data and whether access, with consent, to diagnoses can contribute to improved service delivery and hence better outcomes for patients. In prioritising the SCR programme to urgent care, the National Programme also seems to be overlooking the fact that community pharmacists provide accessible urgent care, including emergency contraception, walk-in consultations supporting self care for a range of conditions that are urgent for the consumer, and the dispensing of prescriptions for acute treatment over extended opening hours.
“What we really need right now is a clear statement of where the Department of Health and Connecting for Health see pharmacy connecting to the NHS IT programme over the next few years, so that pharmacy contractors can plan the IT development in their businesses with a degree of confidence.”