The NHS has launched a pilot test and treat service for patients who suspect they have a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Some 37 pharmacies across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire now offer an extended service to females who consult them about the symptoms associated with a UTI. If a urine dipstick test is required, the pharmacist can provide a home kit instead of referring patients to their GP.
A free app, which uses a mobile phone camera, can then analyse the patient’s urine sample, and patients can then return to a participating pharmacy for a consultation with a pharmacist.
The service is free to patients, and any antibiotics required can be provided through an NHS prescription.
The scheme follows Boots’s launch of a similar scheme at the end of 2018.
Samantha Travis, clinical leadership adviser for NHS England in the Midlands, said the pilot scheme “forms part of a wider project to improve community health care by making greater use of pharmacists’ skills”.
“Our extended ‘Pharmacy First’ Scheme — which allows patients to have minor ailments treated by a pharmacist — has been running in selected pharmacies in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire since February 2018.”