More than 90% of patients in NHS Darlington have a Summary Care Record, making it the primary care trust with the highest uptake to date in England.
Figures for every PCT in the country have been published by NHS Connecting for Health, showing the progress of Patient Information Programmes and the percentage of patients with an SCR.
NHS Darlington – which has a much smaller than average PCT population size of about 100,000 – tops the list of SCR uploads.
It is followed by two PCTs that were early adopters for the SCR – NHS Bury with 74% and NHS South West Essex with 68%.
Mike Brierley, head of IM&T at County Durham and Darlington Primary Care Trusts, said: “Open discussion and constructive engagement with GP practices, combined with a strong public information campaign, have been instrumental in the success to date of our summary care record projects.
“The result is that 92% of the patient population in the Darlington PCT area [that wants] to have a record has had the core data for their Summary Care Records uploaded.
"Eleven of the 12 eligible practices in the Darlington area have clinical IT systems that have the capability to upload SCRs and have undertaken the upload process.”
Brierley said preliminary discussions were taking place with clinicians and IT colleagues at Darlington Memorial Hospital about starting to use SCRs in the A&E department.
He also said talks would soon begin with clinicians and IT staff in emergency and out-of-hours settings in County Durham.
He added: “In the County Durham PCT area, which is considerably larger with 70 practices that have clinical IT systems that have the capability to upload SCRs, we have currently uploaded the core SCR data for 57% of the population who want them.”
Brierley said that “on the whole” GPs in County Durham and Darlington have been open to working with the PCT and constructive in supporting the creation of SCRs for the patients who want them.
He added: “Our commitment to working with GPs and to informing patients through use of the media, events and awareness raising activities, in addition to sending the patient information pack to them individually has been vital to this process.”
The CfH figures show that 65 PCTs have so far uploaded records with the percentage of records uploaded varying from 92% to 1% (NHS West Sussex).
A total of 30 PCTs, about 20% of all PCTs in England, have yet to launch a Patient Information Programme. This figure incudes PCTs such as NHS Hampshire which has developed its own shared care record system and so far opted to stay out of the SCR.
Last month, theDepartment of Health said it wanted every patient in England to be offered the opportunity to have an SCR by the end of 2013.