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Summary Care Records to be available on mobile phones

Summary Care Records are to be expanded and will be accessible through a mobile phone, NHS England has announced.

In its ‘Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards; Achieving an integrated digital care record’ document, NHS England said it had commissioned the Health and Social Care Information Centre to add a range of patient details to the SCR, including immunisations, significant past problems and procedures and end of life care they have received.

This would make it more useful for secondary care doctors, the document said: ‘The increased level of standardised information within the SCR significantly enhances its value to secondary care clinicians.’

It added: ‘The list of integrated solutions able to access the SCR is expected to grow and to include mobile device platforms.’

Work is also underway to explore the introduction of an SCR ‘spine mini service’, which allows integration of the SCR into local, bespoke systems and portals.

However, NHS England admitted that in future it may not need to centrally provide an SCR because the information will be transferred seamlessly between primary and secondary care settings.

Earlier this year the GPC’s IT lead called for the SCR programme to be scrapped, because only a small proportion of records are being accessed and the current utilisation rate means each viewing to date has effectively cost an estimated £1,200.

Pulse also revealed that thousands of SCRs were created without patients being given the choice to opt out, in an NHS blunder the DH said was caused by ‘human error.’