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Patient Access

Summary Care Records (SCR)

Summary Care Records (SCR)are 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.

Your Summary Care Record

Care professionals in England use an electronic record called the Summary Care Record (SCR). This can provide those involved in your care with faster secure access to key information from your GP record.

What is a SCR?

If you are registered with a GP practice in England, you will already have an SCR unless you have previously chosen not to have one.

It includes the following basic information:

  • Medicines you are taking
  • Allergies you suffer from
  • Any bad reactions to medicines.

It also includes your name, address, date of birth and unique NHS Number which helps to identify you correctly.

What choices do you have?

You can now choose to include more information in your SCR, such as significant medical history (past and present), information about management of long term conditions, immunisations and patient preferences such as end of life care information, particular care needs and communication preferences.

If you would like to do this, talk to your GP practice as it can only be added with your permission.

Remember, you can change your mind about your SCR at any time. Talk to your GP practice if you want to discuss your option to add more information or decide you no longer want an SCR.

Vulnerable patients and carers

Having an SCR that includes extra information can be of particular benefit to patients with detailed and complex health problems. If you are a carer for someone and believe that this may benefit them, you could discuss it with them and their GP practice.

Who can see my SCR?

Only authorised care professional staff in England who are involved in your direct care can have access to your SCR. Your SCR will not be used for any other purposes.

These staff:

  • Need to have a 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

Care professionals will ask for 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 to ensure that it is appropriate.

How secure are Summary Care Records?

By law, everyone working for the NHS or on behalf of the NHS must keep all information about patients secure. Healthcare staff have a legal, ethical and professional obligation to respect patient confidentiality.

Summary Care Records are stored securely on NHS computers. There are measures in place to ensure the information is stored safely, stays private and can only be looked at by those authorised to do so.

SCRs for children

If you are the parent or guardian of a child under 16, and feel they are able to understand this information you should show it to them. You can then support them to come to a decision about having an SCR and whether to include additional information.

Further information

Your local health organisation can provide further details about plans for Summary Care Records and HealthSpace in your area, including system training and governance advice.

If you are not able to answer a patient’s query you can advise them to speak to a member of the Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALs) at your NHS organisation; visit www.nhscarerecords.nhs.uk or phone the Summary Care Record Information Line on 0300 123 3020.


For information on how the NHS will collect, store and allow access to your electronic records visit NHS Choices.