The multiple is currently working with the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) team – the NHS England programme backing the Boots service – to determine “how best to bring this innovation to market”, a spokesperson for Boots told C+D yesterday (November 15).
This includes the cost of set up and provision of the service, and how pharmacies will be paid for providing the test to patients with a sore throat, it added.
The scheme is based on a pilot which ran across 35 Boots pharmacies in 2014-15. However, many of the details of how this service will translate to a national scale are “yet to be finalised”, Boots said.
Through the national roll out, the multiple aims to reduce antibiotic resistance and relieve pressures on GPs. “This service needs to be adopted at scale, across the country”, to have the desired impact, the multiple added.
“We would welcome the opportunity to work with national and local commissioners to facilitate the delivery of this service through the whole of community pharmacy,” the multiple said.
Boots "looking forward" to working with the NIA
During the pilot, patients paid £7.50 for the test and a further £10 if antibiotics were supplied. In response to C+D’s question as to whether the costs would remain the same when the scheme is expanded, Boots said: “The costs used, and outlined in the published findings, were established to cover the expected costs of provision of the pilot.
"Now that it is complete, we will be working with the NIA, and local and national commissioners to understand the best model for bringing the innovation to market.”
Boots could not confirm how much pharmacists would get paid for providing the service, but stressed that “payment would be the same for all patients that receive the test”.
Boots’ training package offered to pharmacists during the pilot scheme is “very likely” to be used for the England-wide service, it added.
“We look forward to working with commissioners of the service to understand how the training of such a service could be delivered.”