NHS Summary Care Record - Your Emergency Care Summary
A Summary Care Record (SCR) is an electronic record available to authorised NHS health care staff treating you in urgent or emergency situations anywhere in England. It contains key information from your GP record: medicines you take, allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions you have had to medicines. It has been introduced to improve the safety and quality of your care.
About your Summary Care Record
If you decide to have a Summary Care Record it will contain important information about any medicines you are taking, allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines that you have had.
Giving healthcare staff access to this information can prevent mistakes being made when caring for you in an emergency or when your GP practice is closed.
Your Summary Care Record will also include your name, address, date of birth and your unique NHS Number to help identify you correctly.
You may want to add other details about your care to your Summary Care Record. This will only happen if you ask for the information to be included. You should discuss your wishes with the healthcare staff treating you.
Adding more information to your Summary Care Record – the Enhanced Summary Care Record
Additional information can be added to your SCR by your GP practice (this is known as an Enhanced Summary Care Record) and is a summary of information about your medical history.
Please note: by default your GP records are not shared with any other NHS organisation. In order for your Enhanced Summary Care Record to be available to providers such as hospitals, A&E departments, the Out of Hours Services, 111 and the Ambulance Service, you will need to fill out a consent form (which can be downloaded here) and return this to your GP surgery to enable them to update your records to allow sharing.
An Enhanced Summary Care record can include the following:
- Your long term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart problems or rare medical conditions.
- Your relevant medical history – clinical procedures that you have had, why you need a particular medicine, the care you are currently receiving and clinical advice to support your future care.
- Your healthcare needs and personal preferences – you may have particular communication needs, a long term condition that needs to be managed in a particular way, or you may have made legal decisions or have preferences about your care that you would like to be known.
- Immunisations – details of previous vaccinations, such as tetanus and routine childhood jabs.
Please note that specific sensitive information such as any fertility treatments, sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy terminations or gender reassignment will not be included, unless you specifically ask for any of these items to be included.
How will Summary Care Records help me?
Healthcare staff will have quicker access to essential information such as prescriptions and any allergies you have, so they can provide more effective care.
- In an emergency you may not always be able to provide doctors and nurses with the information they need to give you the right treatment – you may not remember the name of your current medication or the allergies you have; or you could arrive in A&E unconscious. A Summary Care Record will ensure you receive safe and effective treatment quickly in these kinds of situations.
- If you have an accident and are away from home, healthcare staff will be able to access your Summary Care Record to help treat you more effectively and efficiently.
How will you control who can see my Summary Care Record?
Healthcare staff who can see your Summary Care Record:
- need to be directly involved in caring for you;
- need to have an NHS Smartcard with a chip and passcode (like a bank card and PIN);
- will only see the information they need to do their job; and
- will have their details recorded.
Healthcare staff will ask your permission every time they need to look at your Summary Care Record. If they cannot ask you, for example if you are unconscious or in certain circumstances such as a court order, healthcare staff may look at your record without asking you. If they have to do this, they will make a note on your record.
How will you protect my confidentiality?
By law, everyone working for us or on our behalf must respect your confidentiality and keep all information about you secure.
The NHS publish the NHS Care Record Guarantee for England. This says how the NHS will collect, store and allow access to your electronic records and your choices for how your information is stored and looked at. If you would like a copy, there is information on how to get one on the back of this leaflet.
No matter how careful we are, there are always risks when information is held on computers as there is when they are held on paper. In every place we treat you there are people responsible for protecting your confidentiality. Ask your local NHS for more information.
What are my choices?
- You can choose to have a Summary Care Record: You do not need to do anything. This will happen automatically.
- You can choose not to have a Summary Care Record: You need to let us know by completing the opt-out form below.
You can change your mind at any time
- If you choose not to have a Summary Care Record but then change your mind later, we can still make one for you. You need to let the practice know.
- If you choose after we have made your Summary Care Record that you do not want it, you need to tell your us. We will make sure that healthcare staff who try to look at your Summary Care Record will not be able to. We will only make your record available again if whoever wants to see it asks in writing and investigation has found it necessary.
- You can ask to have your record deleted, but that may not be possible if the record has already been used to give you care.
Children and the Summary Care Record
Children will automatically have a Summary Care Record made for them. If you do not want your child to have a Summary Care Record you will need to fill in an opt-out form on behalf of your child. In some circumstances your GP may feel it is in your child’s best interests to have a Summary Care Record. For example, if your child has a serious allergy that healthcare staff treating your child should know about.
Confidentiality and storage of your records
For more information on your health records please visit www.nhs.uk