Push for NHS staff to switch to new patient record service

  • Date: 26 June 2023

HEALTHCARE professionals are being encouraged to switch to the new version of an NHS patient record service before the end of September.

The National Care Records Service (NCRS) will replace the Summary Care Record application (SCRa) when it closes on 29 September 2023.

SCRa is still being used by more than 15,000 organisations and 115,000 health and care professionals to securely access patient medical information at the point of care. But NHS England said it is built on older technology and “is not aligned with the more modern working practices of health and care professionals.”

The new system is designed to improve the way staff can access patient records. It can be used in clinical, office or mobile environments over the internet, as well as via the Health and Social Care Network.

The free, web-based service has been specially designed for better internet-first connectivity, meaning it should be more compatible with mobile devices. Sign-in methods have also been upgraded to include secure biometric log-in, Microsoft authenticator, as well as using existing physical and virtual smartcards.

The NCRS will retain the existing features of SCRa but will also allow health and care professionals to retrieve care plans through the National Record Locator and view Reasonable Adjustments flags.

Stephen Koch, Executive Director for Platforms at NHS England, said: “[W]e 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.

“We’ve taken steps to ensure the switch over to NCRS is as quick and simple as possible and hope users will take this opportunity to join the thousands of other health and care staff who have already switched to the new system”.

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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