Your emergency care summary
A Summary Care Record is an electronic record available to authorised NHS health care staff treating you in urgent or emergency situations anywhere in England. It contains key information from your GP record: medicines you take, allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions you have had to medicines. It has been introduced to improve the safety and quality of your care.
By the end of November 2014 83% of the population in England had had a Summary Care Record created, with 25,000 records being viewed every week across different care settings including:
- GP Out of Hours
- Acute Assessment
- Admissions Units
- A & E/Hospital Pharmacies
- Urgent Care Outside of Hospitals
- Ambulance Service
- Community & Intermediary care
- NHS 111
It is your choice whether or not you have a Summary Care Record. You have either received a letter asking you if you want a Summary Care Record or you were asked when you registered with your GP surgery.
If you decide to have one, you don’t need to do anything and one is automatically created for you.
If you decide you don’t want one, you need to let your GP practice know.
Your GP practice will be able to tell you if they have created a Summary Care Record for you or not.
If you are a child under the age of 16, a Summary Care Record is automatically created for you. Your parents or guardian can opt you out but ultimately, because of their duty of care to a child, it is the GP’s decision as to whether you have one created. When you turn 16 you can make your own decision – you can choose to have one if a parent or guardian previously opted you out, or you can opt out if you so decide. Once you make a decision you will need to let your GP practice know.
How will this benefit me?
- Healthcare staff will have quicker access to essential information such as prescriptions and any allergies you have, so they can provide more effective care.
- In an emergency you may not always be able to provide doctors and nurses with the information they need to give you the right treatment – you may not remember the name of your current medication or the allergies you have; or you could arrive in A&E unconscious. A Summary Care Record will ensure you receive safe and effective treatment quickly in these kinds of situations.
- If you have an accident and are away from home, healthcare staff will be able to access your Summary Care Record to help treat you more effectively and efficiently.