NHS Care Records Service (NCRS)

Patient-centred care requires information to follow the patient so that it is available wherever and whenever it is needed. The NHS Care Records Service (NHS CRS) will allow this to happen.

For the first time, information about patients will be mobile - as patients are themselves - and not remain in filing stores in the buildings where treatment or care has been received. This means, for example, that if someone from Doncaster is seriously injured while on holiday in Devon, they can be treated by a local doctor with immediate access to the patient's medical records. The doctor can be informed of any drug allergies and previous treatments, ensuring that life-saving treatment can begin immediately.

The NHS Care Records Service has been developed because:

  • Healthcare is now more complex to organise and provide
  • The diagnosis and treatment of conditions is increasingly specialised and can involve groups of organisations and personnel working in co-operation
  • Paper-based records cannot support the increasing demand for care and its more complex administration.

Currently your records are stored on a computer situated in the practice. It is the Department of Health (DoH) intention that parts of this record, essentially a summary of significant illnesses, medication and allergies be available to authorised NHS staff via the internet. This will entail uploading the summary care record to a centrally held record  on an NHS computer. We are assured by the DoH that access will be strictly enforced via specially issued smart cards. Precise details have yet to be worked out and trials are due to start later this year.

If you want to opt out of sharing your summary care record you will need to let us know. Write a signed letter stating you wish to opt out of the shared care record asking for  "Read Code 93C" to be inserted in your notes, this we are told will automatically prevent uploads to the service.

You can find more on the NCRS here -the anti argument.

And here the pro argument.

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