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New study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy-Antimicrobial Resistance shows benefit of Cystitis service in community pharmacies

14 March 2020
News Healthcare

During the study, a lower UTI was found to be likely in 75% of women who used the service, most of whom accessed treatment on the same day.

Data analysed in the study shows a community pharmacy led Cystitis Test and Treat service provides accessible and timely care for women, with the ability to help reduce pressure on GPs. Three quarters of the women studied stated that they would have visited their GP if the service hadn’t been available.

Cystitis and Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) affect up to half of all women in their lifetime1. The conditions account for millions of GP appointments each year2, and are among the most common conditions to be prescribed antibiotics in English primary care.3

Marc Donovan, Chief Pharmacist at Boots, comments: “The accessibility and convenience of community pharmacy makes it the ideal place for point of care testing, and this study supports it as an option for patients with UTIs. The service forms part of the important work that pharmacy is doing to tackle the wider issues affecting NHS overspending, helping to reduce pressure on GPs and continuing work towards optimising medicines use.”

Pharmacists receive specific training and under an in-store patient group directive (PGD) are able to give advice and treatment based on the severity of symptoms and results of the home testing kit.

Marc, continues: “Centred on patients having meaningful conversations with trained pharmacists and scientific data, we’re confident that this service also supports the threat of antimicrobial resistance by making sure that antibiotics are only used when patients need them.”

The study was led by academics from Boots UK, University of Nottingham, University of Leeds and the Department of Microbiology & Virology at UCL Hospitals.

The study was published on Thursday 12 March 2020 in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy-Antimicrobial Resistance, and can be found here:

  • The scope of the service is acute, uncomplicated, lower UTI in females aged 16 -64
  • It’s based on a three step service, starting with a conversation with a pharmacy advisor or pharmacist about the customer’s symptoms.  The customer will then have the option of purchasing a test kit in store or on and downloads an app to guide them through the process of completing the Dip UTI Urine Test and scanning the sampled dipstick, within minutes, the results are analysed and displayed on their phone. The customer is then invited back to the pharmacy where they discuss their results with a trained pharmacist, who will provides advice and treatment based on results of the test and severity of symptoms according to a patient group directive (PGD).
  • The service was trialled and evaluated in 23 Boots UK pharmacies during 2018/19. Over 750 patients accessed the service during this time and the clinical assessment indicated that an uncomplicated lower UTI was likely in over half of these patients.
  • The service has been developed in line with PHE UTI diagnostic guidelines and NICE guidelines NG109 to help support the NHS ambitions of promoting self-care within the community pharmacy environment and the appropriate use of antibiotics only when required.
  • Further information about the Cystitis Test and Treat Service can be found here:


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