Reminder: SCRa portal being replaced by National Care Records Service  (NCRS)

Following previous announcements, the Summary Care Record (SCRa) application portal is scheduled to be replaced by a new system called the National Care Records Service (NCRS) from September 2023.

From now until 29th September 2023, both the SCRa portal and the NCRS portal will be accessible.

Differences between the NCRS portal and the SCR portal:

The NCRS enables pharmacy professionals to:

  • View the previous Summary Care Record.
  • Access further information such as NHS Record Locator information and access documents.
  • Experience an improved look and feel compared to SCRa.
  • Enable easier access on mobile devices.

Testing and using NCRS portal

Pharmacy professionals are encouraged to start using the new NCRS portal immediately, even before the SCRa portal is phased out. You can visit the NCRS portal via this link using a pharmacy computer with an NHS Smartcard reader (e.g. a Patient Medication Record PC). You will need to use your NHS Smartcard, and the following ‘test patient’ NHS numbers will allow you to see how records look within NCRS:

  • 999 040 2132
  • 999 025 2955
  • 999 024 0272.

There is also an online check to see if your system is ready to use NCRS.

Once you have tested the NCRS, please provide some feedback to help improve the system by completing this 3-minute NCRS feedback survey.

In some cases your IT support (e.g. PMR suppliers may be making arrangements to enable your access to NCRS if they have not already done so).

User research opportunities

Online ‘card sorting’ exercise opportunity: Have your say about how you’d like NCRS to look: NHS England’s Transformation Directorate (NHSE’s TD) are running a ‘card sort’ activity to help understand how NCRS users including pharmacy team members would want and expect to find information within the NCRS portal. Visit this link to take part with online ‘card sorting’ exercise (which will take around 10-15 minutes). There are several quick preliminary questions before you can drag and drop ‘cards’ to set out how you’d prefer for NCRS info to be displayed.

Interview opportunity: Pharmacy SCR users are also encouraged to volunteer to participate in user research interviews conducted by NHS England’s Transformation Directorate.  These interviews will explore preferences on the design of this NCRS and its content. You can register your interest using this NCRS user research interview webform. The NCRS user research team may also be visiting a small number of pharmacies to help enhance the NCRS.

Further information

For further information, you can refer to the SCRa switchover guidance from NHS England’s Transformation Directorate (NHSE’s TD) and read more on Community Pharmacy England’s updated webpages: SCR and NCRS.

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