The Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the Pharmaceutical Standards Negotiating Committee have demanded that pharmacists should be given continued access to the additional information in Summary Care Records (SCRs) beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a letter to NHS officials, RPS and PSNC noted that community pharmacists need comprehensive access to electronic health records to provide the person-centred services set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

Currently under the Coronavirus Bill, pharmacists and their teams have been able to access data from patients SCRs and medicines-related information, specifically relating to Covid-19.

The letter, signed jointly by Simon Dukes, PSNC chief executive, and Claire Anderson, chair of the English Pharmacy Board, calls for new legislation to be introduced to enable ongoing pharmacy access to SCRs.

“People are becoming increasingly familiar to working digitally and there is growing opinion on sharing information to provide the best possible care for patients,” Anderson said.

“We support the ongoing work to set common clinical standards, which allows crucial information to flow across the health system. Ensuring that community pharmacy is part of that system is critical in providing better patient care.”

The letter also highlights that local health and care record (LHCR) access should be standard for pharmacy professionals to better support pharmacy patient care.

The development of IT LHCR compatibility standards are also needed so pharmacists can access whichever LHCRs using their clinical system, it adds.

Alistair Buxton, PSNC director of NHS Services, said: “We need the NHS to do more to help us help patients. Pharmacy professionals should be able to easily access relevant patient information so they can support patients to make the most of their medicines and identify any possible concerns, thereby reducing the likelihood of problems escalating.

“Access to this additional information during the pandemic has been crucial for pharmacy teams, and it would be a retrograde step if the amount of detail available to them reverts to its pre-pandemic level.”

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