A Summary Care Record is an electronic record that's stored at a central location. As the name suggests, the record will not contain detailed information about your medical history, but will only contain important health information, such as:
- whether you're taking any prescription medication
- whether you have any allergies
- whether you've previously had a bad reaction to any medication
Summary Care Records are being introduced to improve the safety and quality of patient care. Because the Summary Care Record is an electronic record, it will give healthcare staff faster, easier access to essential information about you, and help to give you safe treatment during an emergency or when your GP surgery is closed.
Access to your Summary Care Record will be strictly controlled. The only people who can see the information will be healthcare staff directly involved in your care who have a special smartcard and access number (like a chip-and-pin credit card).
Healthcare staff will ask your permission every time they need to look at your Summary Care Record. If they cannot ask you, e.g. because you're unconscious, healthcare staff may look at your record without asking you. If they have to do this, they will make a note on your record.
For further information please visit the NHS England website at http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/thenhs/records/healthrecords/Pages/servicedescription.aspx
For existing patients it is different in that it is assumed that you want your record uploaded to the Central NHS Computer System unless you actively opt out.
For further information visit the HSCIC Website
If you choose to opt out of the scheme, then you will need to complete a form and bring it along to the surgery.