NHS priorities

Whether it’s to prepare for the next Pharmacy Quality Scheme deadline, or to increase your confidence in helping people with a learning disability, this section provides topic-specific pages that link to current NHS priorities. This section will support you in keeping your knowledge and skills up to date in order to provide high-quality pharmacy services and be service-ready.

Clinical pharmacy

Our clinical portfolio is expanding on a frequent basis, helping you to advance your knowledge and skills and deliver medicines optimisation in practice for all sectors of pharmacy. From two new focal points a year to our small group learning for hospital pharmacists – Optimise – this section focuses on clinical pharmacy, diseases and therapeutics.

Public health

The public health agenda is embedded in pharmacy, yet topics such as emergency contraception or stop smoking support are as prevalent as ever. As well as our public health workshops, use this section to access a wide range of resources to assure and maintain your competence, all underpinned by the Declaration of Competence system.

Summary Care Records in community pharmacy

More than 96 percent of patients in England have a Summary Care Record (SCR). The SCR provides key clinical information about a patient sourced from their GP record. SCRs are used successfully in many care settings across the NHS, including accident and emergency departments, out-of-hours services and hospital pharmacies.

Community pharmacists and designated members of the pharmacy team can now, with patient consent, access an SCR for patients.

SCR access in community pharmacy has demonstrated benefits to patients by enabling access to more information so pharmacists and pharmacy technicians can provide a safer, more efficient and better-informed service for those patients who require it.1

The ability to access SCR is an essential requirement for the delivery of the NHS Pharmacy First service, supporting prescribing safety, clinical decision-making and community pharmacy’s role in the urgent care agenda.

The portal you use to access Summary Care Records is changing. The Summary Care Record application (SCRa) portal is closing down on 29 September 2023 and being replaced by the National Care Records Service (NCRS) portal. For more information on what you need to do to ensure you have continued access, go to the NHS Digital National Care Records Service (NCRS) webpage.

We have developed an e-learning programme to support you to use SCRs when consulting with patients. This programme provides you with information about accessing the records, patient confidentiality, record-keeping and the essential information governance principles that underpin the process.

In addition, passing the associated CPPE e-assessment is a pre-requisite for access via your NHS Smartcard. Tick the box in the My CPPE section of your CPPE account to complete the Summary Care Records assessment registration process. This will allow your Registration Authority and the SCR project team (on behalf of NHS Digital) to see that you have passed the assessment so they can give you access to Summary Care Records via your smartcard..   

You can find further information and resources on our Summary Care Records learning gateway and the Community Pharmacy England website. 

  1. National Pharmacy Association. Community pharmacy access to Summary Care Records: proof of concept report. 2015.