Records case study: Community pharmacies accessing the Dorset Care Record ShCR system

Published on: 30th August 2022 | Updated on: 30th August 2022

Community pharmacy contractors in Dorset are connecting to health and social care records held within the Dorset Care Record (DCR), a type of shared care record delivered as part of the Shared Care Record (ShCR).


Primary care professionals, including community pharmacists, have been creating electronic records of their interactions with patients for many years. Previous consideration was given to the NHS creating a national comprehensive records system, collating information from different types of care settings, but the NHS Long Term Plan changed the focus to continuing and expanding the ShCR projects being undertaken across England.

Shared care records pull together information on a patient from several sources, such as GP and hospital records, so they contain extra information compared to the NHS Summary Care Record. In time it is hoped that pharmacy systems may be able to display medicines information from shared care records and more professionals across multiple care settings will be able to share their patient records held in their clinical systems via shared care records.

Community Pharmacy England and the Community Pharmacy IT Group (CP ITG) encourage contractors and LPCs to get involved with shared care records and ShCR programmes within their area.

What is the Dorset Care Record (DCR)?

The DCR collates records from hospitals, GPs, local authorities and Dorset HealthCare, so it contains extra information when compared with the NHS Summary Care Record Additional Information (SCR AI). Community pharmacists have been given access to the DCR to give them a fuller picture of the patient’s medical and care history. The record reduces the need for patients to repeat themselves and lessens the risks of medicines information not being visible to the pharmacists and technicians.


Community pharmacy professionals can use DCR to:

  • get an idea about medicines adherence before speaking to patients, which helps optimise consultations and the provision of services;
  • care for those patients after discharge from hospital;
  • check blood results to assist with medicines discussions;
  • support professional decisions regarding emergency supply options;
  • see why a particular medication was started (sometimes missing from SCR AI); and
  • carry out an additional check if medicines have changed or stopped, to help make sure that the right medicines are available for the patient.

Community pharmacy is the first sector outside the acute and community hospital and social care settings to be given access to the DCR portal, and Dorset Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC) has been actively supporting the project.

Reflection on community pharmacy access to the DCR

Robin Mitchell, from Victoria Park Pharmacy in Dorchester has been using the DCR and  reflected that:

“Access to the DCR provides community pharmacists with detailed information that complements other sources such as SCR and will be very relevant to situations such as hospital discharge or minor illness consultations. A welcome resource.”

Amanda Moores, Chief Officer at Dorset LPC added:

“We are very pleased that community pharmacies will have access to the DCR. This supports their integration in the local health and social care system. Community pharmacies play a key role in supporting patients to make the most of their medicines and manage long term conditions. The DCR supports patient care by providing pharmacies with access to up to date information, which is crucial, especially in these challenging times.”

And Peter Gill, DCR Senior Responsible Officer said:

“We are also introducing discharge medications into the Dorset Care Record from Dorset County Hospital and this will be particularly beneficial for community pharmacies.”

Advice for contractors within Dorset

Community pharmacies across Dorset have been contacted about how to connect to DCR and obtain login details. Contractors within the area can find out more at Dorset LPC’s DCR webpage, the DCR website or by contacting the DCR project team.

Further info

Read more about records projects and how to get involved at:


Electronic health records

Community Pharmacy England’s list of local and national record projects


Latest Digital & Technology news

View more Digital & Technology newsSee all