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Boots UK introduces Cystitis Test and Treat Service in 37 stores in London, Sheffield and Cardiff

10 January 2019

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common types of bacterial infection, affecting millions of women every year. Yet, with around 50% of women with UTI symptoms not actually having an infection[1], there is a risk antibiotics may not be necessary. To help provide women with faster access to appropriate treatment, Boots UK is trialling a new Cystitis Test and Treat Service[2] in selected stores in London, Sheffield and Cardiff. This includes access to an innovative urine self-testing kit and an app, which turns a smartphone camera into a clinical grade analyser, to help customers to quickly test for indication of infection from the comfort of their own homes.

With UTIs accounting for 1-3% of all GP visits in the UK[3] and equating to a staggering 3-10 million NHS GP appointments each year,[4] the new Boots Cystitis Test and Treat Service will not only help to ensure customers receive the right type of treatment, it will also help to reduce pressure on GPs. The combination of convenient testing and a discussion with a Pharmacist, will assist with the appropriate supply of antibiotics which, in turn, will help to combat the rise of antibiotic resistance.

Asif Aziz, Director of Pharmacy Services Boots UK, comments: “As the UK’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer, we are delighted to be able to offer the Boots Cystitis Test and Treat Service initially in 37 of our stores. This is a fantastic example of how we are continuing to develop our pharmacy services offer in the UK to ensure that we remain at the heart of the communities we serve.

“The NHS Long Term Plan highlights the growing need to use new diagnostics and the introduction of this service highlights the enhanced role that community pharmacies can play in supporting services offered by the NHS and GPs, as well as the excellent clinical skills our pharmacists can offer, to support patients’ health in locations and at times that are convenient to them.”

The Boots Cystitis Test and Treat Service is initially launching in a small number of stores in London, Sheffield and Cardiff and is suitable for females aged 16 – 64 who have symptoms which could indicate a lower urinary tract infection.

The Boots Cystitis Test and Treat Service is a simple three step service:

  1. Consultation with a Boots Pharmacy Advisor: The Pharmacy Advisor or Pharmacist will ask the customer a few simple questions about their symptoms. If the symptoms described match those of an uncomplicated lower UTI, and provided there is nothing else of concern, the customer will have the option of purchasing a Dip UTI Urine Test for £9.99. The test works alongside an app, which the customer should download for free by searching Dip UTI from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
  2. Using the Dip UTI test kit:  The customer can then use the app to guide them through the process of completing the Dip UTI Urine Test and scanning the sampled dipstick. Within minutes, the analysis will be displayed through the app on their phone.
  3. Test results: Following this, the customer should return to their Boots Pharmacy, where the kit was purchased, to discuss their result with a Pharmacist, who will offer self-care advice and discuss possible treatment options. In the event of the test indicating the presence of a UTI, the Boots Pharmacist can provide prescription only medication – the pharmacist consultation and prescription only medicine will cost £14.99.

Mild cases of UTI may clear up on their own within a few days, but some cases may need treatment. Following a short consultation with a Boots Pharmacy Advisor the Boots Cystitis Test and Treat Service costs £9.99 for the Dip UTI urine test kit with a further £14.99 payable, where necessary, for an additional pharmacist consultation and supply of prescription only medicine treatment if needed. Boots will inform the customer’s GP if prescription only medicine treatment is supplied as part of the service if the customer is registered with a GP. If prescription only medicine treatment is not appropriate there’s no charge for the pharmacist consultation. Where appropriate, customers will be referred to their GP.

The Dip UTI test kit and smartphone app has been created by Healthy.io, the first company to market smartphone urinalysis, offering the only FDA and CE approved home urine test equivalent to lab-based devices. Healthy.io has formed partnerships with leading healthcare organisations across the globe, including Siemens Healthineers, Geisinger Health and the US National Kidney Foundation. Alliances with the NHS in the UK, including Modality GP Super Partnership, are making home urine testing a reality for millions of patients worldwide.

 

[1] NICE Quality standards & indicators, briefing paper - urinary tract infections in adults, Sept 2014

[2] The trial began in December and will continue for 3 months in 37 selected stores in London, Sheffield and Cardiff (subject to pharmacist and stock availability, eligibility criteria & charges apply)

[3] Booth JL, Mullen AB et al.  Br J Gen Pract 2013; 63 (609): e244-e249

[4] BMA: General practice in the UK – background briefing 2014