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Summary Care Records use revealed

By Laura Passi

Summary Care Records have been accessed almost 50,000 times in an urgent or emergency care setting, a Pulse investigation reveals.

New figures obtained from the Department of Health show just one in every 125 of the care records so far created has actually been used in patient care, with deployment of the flagship IT project patchy at PCT level.

In some early adopter areas, such as Bradford and south-west Essex, the SCR has yet to be used at all. In other areas access has been infrequent. In NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent the 158,057 records have been accessed just 45 times in a walk-in centre and hospice setting.

Elsewhere use of the records is much more frequent, with more than 1,000 accesses in Stoke-on-Trent and Dorset. Nationally, the DH said the 6.3 million records uploaded so far had been accessed 49,616 times.

Professor Trisha Greenhalgh, a GP academic at Queen Mary University of London who last year concluded a major independent evaluation of the SCR's early rollout, said it was impossible to tell whether it was truly proving useful to clinicians.

‘We don't know why [the records] were accessed,' she said. ‘Some out-of-hours nurses are performance managed on whether they click the icon even though they don't action what they see.'

Summary Care Records use revealed