Low take up of NHS record sharing

Healthwatch Shropshire is trying to raise awareness of an NHS scheme which allows patients to share their GP records with NHS hospitals. All NHS patients, unless they have opted out, have a Summary Care Record which shares basic details such as date of birth, allergies and current prescriptions. However there is also a scheme, Summary Care Record Additional Information (SCRai), where patients can opt in to share details of:

  • long term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart problems
  • Relevant medical history such a clinical procedures, why you need a particular medicine and the care you are currently receiving
  • Healthcare needs and personal preferences – such as particular communication needs, a long term condition you would like managed in a certain way or you may have made legal decisions or have preferences about your care that you would like known
  • Immunisations – details of previous vaccinations such as tetanus and routine childhood jabs

Not many patients in Shropshire have decided to make this available and Healthwatch Shropshire is trying to raise awareness of the scheme so people can opt in if they think it will help their care. 

Lynn Cawley, Chief Officer, at Healthwatch Shropshire told us “Essential details about your healthcare can be very difficult to remember, particularly when you are unwell, perhaps having been rushed to hospital. Having additional information in your Summary Care Record means that when you need healthcare this information will be available to the clinician providing treatment for you, no matter which NHS organisation they work for.

Certain vulnerable patient groups such as those with dementia or with detailed and complex health problems can particularly benefit from a SCRai. If you are a carer for another person and believe that they may benefit, then you can discuss this with them and their GP practice.”

Anybody wishing to find out more or set up the SCRai should contact their GP.

Healthwatch Shropshire is the independent consumer champion for health and social care in Shropshire. It gathers the views and experiences of patients, service users, carers, and the general public about services including hospitals, GPs, mental health services, community health services, pharmacists, opticians, residential care and children’s services.  It also has statutory powers that it can use to influence service provision by encouraging improvements.

Healthwatch Shropshire is one of a network of 148 Local Healthwatch in England.  It is supported by a national organisation, Healthwatch England.

Contact: Lynn Cawley, Chief Officer     Telephone: 01743 237884 Email: enquiries@healthwatchshropshire.co.uk        Website: www.healthwatchshropshire.co.uk

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