Health helpline NHS Direct has revealed that it hopes to get access to England’s Summary Care Record.

The health helpline has outlined plans to link to the SCR as part of a range of projects under its Delivering Today programme. Another project on NHS Direct’s list, which must be completed first, is to set up links with the Spine and Personal Demographics Service.

A spokesperson for NHS Direct told EHI Primary Care: “Assuming that full roll-out of the Summary Care Record is confirmed as an integral part of the NHS Information Strategy, it is our intention to set-up access to the Summary Care Record. The project is in its early stages at this point as we assess what integration would be needed to achieve this.”

In Scotland NHS 24 has access to the Emergency Care Summary, Scotland’s equivalent to the SCR, which is also accessed by out-of-hours services and accident and emergency departments.

The SCR was the subject of a fresh push from the Department of Health at the end of March which relaunched its Public Information Programmes on the controversial summary record and announced that it hoped all patients would be offered an SCR by the end of 2013. Two reviews into the SCR by the Department of Health last year also led to a decision to focus its use on emergency and urgent care.

So far SCRs have only been available in a small number of NHS organisations beyond the GP practices in which they were created including a small number of out-of-hours centres, walk-in centres and hospital pharmacies.

Latest statistics for the SCR published at the end of April show that 6.1 million SCRs have now been created and more than 32 million patients have received a letter about the SCR through a PIP. Almost 900 GP practices have uploaded records to the Spine and the current opt-out rate is 1.16%.