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90 Scottish pharmacists can prescribe antibiotics for UTIs

A Scottish health board is rolling out a service that will allow pharmacists in Grampian to prescribe antibiotics to women with “uncomplicated” urinary tract infections (UTIs).

NHS Grampian is the first health board in Scotland to commission the service and more than 90 community pharmacists have already signed up to offer the treatment. It has predicted that the scheme could free up nearly 25,000 GP appointments a year.

Dr Alasdair Jamieson, GP lead for Aberdeen City with NHS Grampian, said the health board has made these changes to ensure women are able to get the “right treatment at the right time”.

UTIs are described as “one of the most common acute medical conditions”, accounting for “1-3% of all GP consultations a year”, Dr Jamieson said at Community Pharmacy Scotland’s (CPS) debut conference this month (September 6).

“For a significant proportion of women [with symptoms of a UTI] it would be appropriate to be seen and treated by their community pharmacy,” he added.

Earlier this year, the antibiotic service was piloted by 76 pharmacies in NHS Forth Valley.

As a result of the pilot, pharmacists in the Forth Valley area can now offer antibiotics to treat both UTIs and impetigo without a prescription.

Listen to C+D's podcast on the "arms race" to prevent antibiotic resistance: 

Do you think more antibiotics should be available without prescription?

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