Why do I need a Summary Care Record?
A Summary Care Record is an electronic record which contains information about the medicines you take, allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines you have had.
Having this information stored in one place makes it easier for healthcare staff to treat you in an emergency, or when your GP practice is closed.
In an emergency, or when it is urgent, it’s important that doctors caring for you know about you and any important medical conditions you may have, or medicines that you are taking.
Sometimes, if you are unconscious or having difficulty speaking, doctors may not be aware of important information about you. This includes the medicines you are taking, if you have any allergies and if you have ever had a bad reaction to something.
This information could make a difference to how a doctor decides to care for you, for example which medicines they choose to prescribe for you.
This means they provide you with safer care during an emergency, or when it is urgent. Summary Care Records are also useful if you need care when your GP practice is closed or if you are away from home in another part of England.
Do I have a Summary Care Record ?
Over half of the population of England now have a Summary Care Record.
You can change your mind at any time about whether or not you have Summary Care Record, but you will need to tell your GP practice.
Who can see it?
Only healthcare staff involved in your care can see your Summary Care Record. Those who look at your Summary Care Record need to:
- be directly involved in caring for you;
- have a Smartcard with a chip and pass code (like a bank card and PIN).
Healthcare staff will only see the information they need to do their job, and they will ask your permission every time they need to look at your Summary Care Record.
If they can’t ask you, for example if you are unconscious, they may look at your Summary Care Record without your permission. If they do this, they will make a note on your record to say why they have done this.
Healthcare staff are trained to know that the Summary Care Record is an information resource to help guide the clinical care they provide (in the same way doctor referral letters or lists of medication are sources of information).
The Summary Care Record is not the only source of information used by healthcare staff. They should make a full assessment of your needs using all information sources available.
However, if you wish to opt-out of the Summary Care Record you may do so by downloading our form and bringing the signed copy into the surgery so that we may update your patient record.