The service allows customers to test for infection at home using a urine kit, following a consultation with a pharmacist or “pharmacy advisor”, Boots said yesterday (January 10).
The kit is paired with an app, available for free from Apple's App Store or Google Play, which analyses the customer’s sample using the camera on their smartphone, the multiple explained.
To get the kit, which costs £9.99, customers must attend a consultation at a participating Boots pharmacy.
If the test shows that the customer has an infection, a Boots pharmacist can prescribe a prescription-only medicine at a second consultation. The pharmacist consultation and prescribed medicine costs an additional £14.99, the multiple said.
The service is suitable for women aged 16-64 who have symptoms of a lower UTI, Boots said.
The trial service began in December and will run for a minimum of three months, Boots told C+D.
“During this time, we will evaluate the service and will be speaking to our pharmacists and customers for their feedback, which will inform any future plans,” it added.
Announcing the service, Boots director of pharmacy services Asif Aziz said: “The NHS long-term plan highlights the growing need to use new diagnostics.
“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.”
Boots said its service will “reduce pressure on GPs” and “ensure customers receive the right type of treatment”, while combating “the rise of antibiotic resistance”.
About one in 20 women go to a GP with symptoms of cystitis each year, according to the National Institute for health and Care Excellence (Nice), with around half of these having a bacterial infection.
The Boots stores offering the test and treat cystitis service are:
- Shepherd's Bush
- Fulham Road
- Canary Wharf
- Liverpool Street Station
- One New Change shopping centre
- Canary Wharf
- Sedley Place
- Tottenham Court Road
- Euston Station
- London St Pancras
- Fleet Street
- Heathrow T5 Landside
- West Street
- High Street
- The Moor
- Berkeley Precinct
- Fox Valley Way
- Manor Park
- Heeley Retail Park
- Meadowhall shopping centre
- Crystal Peaks Retail Park
- Asline Health Centre
- Sanatorium Road