Cumbria to join national system to share important patient information

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Cumbria to join national system to share important patient information

Posted on Monday 3rd December 2012
Dr Hugh Reeve

Dr Hugh Reeve

People across Cumbria will start to receive letters this week informing them about plans for Cumbria to join the national Summary Care Record (SCR) system.

The letter explains that the NHS across England is introducing a Summary Care Record which will include important medical information about a patient, which can then be used in an emergency. This system is already rolling out across the country with plans for every area to have implemented the system by April 2013.

The secure electronic record will contain information about if a patient is taking any medication, if they have an allergy and any bad reactions they may have had previously to any medication so health professionals can treat a patient safely.

At the moment if a person is taken to hospital or seen in an emergency, not in their current GP surgery or at a location they've never attended before, then the medical team treating them will have to speak to someone such as their GP, a relative or the patient, to get this important information. This is not always possible in an emergency.

In order to create the summary care record this limited information is taken from a patient's existing medical record held in their GP surgery. However a patient can choose to opt out of having a summary care record at any time and the letter they receive will also contain a opt out form and an information leaflet.

People who are happy for a summary care record to be created do not need to respond to the letter.

The national summary care record system is different to Cumbria's own NHS local shared record system which NHS Cumbria has been rolling out over the last three years.

The local shared record system allows health care professionals in Cumbria only, such as community nurses, access to a patient's limited medical information after they have been referred to them. This is only accessed during a period of care with a patient's permission.

The ability to access these ‘shared records’ allows healthcare staff to find out important information about a patient they are treating. Normally they would have to ask for the patient’s surgery to send this information each time it is needed. By making this information available electronically it has helped to reduce delays and help healthcare professionals access this information especially outside normal surgery hours.

Patients can opt out of both systems by returning their opt out form or speak to their GP surgery if they wish to opt out of one system and not the other.

Dr Hugh Reeve is the Clinical Chair of NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group said: "This national summary care record system is about providing health professionals treating patients in an emergency anywhere in the country, with access to vital but limited medical information.

"Any patient who feels unsure or uncomfortable about the SCR system should call the national helpline for advice. Anyone can choose to opt out of the system at anytime, but should feel reassured that this type of information is to ensure that medical professionals can treat people as safely as possible in an urgent situation."

More information on the national summary care record system is available via a dedicated NHS Summary Care Record Information Line on 0300 123 3020 or online at www.nhscarerecords.nhs.uk|

More information on the NHS Cumbria shared record system is available online at www.cumbria.nhs.uk|

Posted on Monday 3rd December 2012

 

 
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