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NHS to switch over to new web-based system for accessing patient summary records

by Emma Wilkinson
23 June 2023

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Healthcare staff will need to switch over to the new NHS web-based system for accessing patient information, including summary care records, by the end of September.

The National Care Records Service (NCRS) will replace the current summary care record application which was used by 115,000 health and care professionals to access basic information created from a patient’s GP medical notes.

Switching to the NCRS will mean staff being able to access patient records in clinical, office or mobile environments through secure log in as well as the old smart card system, NHS Digital said.

Through the service, NHS and care staff will be able to search for patient NHS numbers, access patient summary care records that can include significant medical history, reason for medication, and immunisations, as well as view child protection information.

But extra features will mean they can now also retrieve care plans through the National Record Locator and view reasonable adjustments flags.

Stephen Koch, executive director for platforms at NHS England, said: ‘The new NCRS has been created with both mobile and internet technology in mind, to better meet the needs of modern healthcare settings and meet accessibility standards in a way the previous system was unable to.

‘By working closely with end users, we have designed the new service to provide a quick and secure way to access national patient information to improve clinical decision-making and healthcare outcomes for patients.

Some users have already switched over to the new system, NHS Digital said, but the old SCR application will be turned off on the 30 September.

Meanwhile, community pharmacists will be able to access and add to patient records currently maintained by GPs by the end of this year, the primary care recovery plan announced last month.