Patients to get new electronic records to boost emergency care

Patients to get new electronic records to boost emergency care

25th September 2013
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Thousands of patients are now being offered new electronic care records to support their treatment when they need urgent, out-of-hours or emergency care.

Summary Care Records (SCRs) are brief personal medical records designed to offer people faster and safer care when they are treated at A&E, by out-of-hours clinicians or in urgent care centres.

The care summaries carry details of a patient’s allergies, current and recent medications or any bad reactions to specific medicines the patient may have had in the past.

Everyone living in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland aged 15¾ years and over will soon receive a letter containing an information pack explaining SCRs in more detail. It also offers their right to opt out if they do not want a SCR created for them.

The three local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) today urged all patients to watch out for the letters and to take a while to read through the information.

Thousands of patients are now being offered new electronic care records to support their treatment when they need urgent, out-of-hours or emergency care.

Summary Care Records (SCRs) are brief personal medical records designed to offer people faster and safer care when they are treated at A&E, by out-of-hours clinicians or in urgent care centres.

The care summaries carry details of a patient’s allergies, current and recent medications or any bad reactions to specific medicines the patient may have had in the past.

Everyone living in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland aged 15¾ years and over will soon receive a letter containing an information pack explaining SCRs in more detail. It also offers their right to opt out if they do not want a SCR created for them.

The three local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) today urged all patients to watch out for the letters and to take a while to read through the information.

Dr Nick Willmott, a Leicestershire GP and the urgent care lead for West Leicestershire CCG, said: “When people are really ill they may be unable to say exactly what medicines they’re taking, or if they have any allergies or react poorly to certain drugs like penicillin. Summary Care Records will make this information available at the click of a computer mouse to the healthcare staff who need it.”

To provide patients with enough time to understand these types of medical records and their rights, no SCRs will be created for at least 12 weeks after letters go out to patients.

The three CCGs will then work with local GPs to create the records for patients who have not opted out. Currently more than 30 million  patients in the UK now have SCRs.

Once a significant proportion of patients in the area have SCRs, local hospitals and urgent care centres will start to use the records to support care.