The service is available now in selected pharmacies across England, Scotland and Wales to patients aged over 18, the multiple said yesterday (November 19).
The on-the-spot service is delivered by pharmacists and takes “a few minutes”, involving a questionnaire, physical examination and mouth swab test, it added.
Pharmacists will also be able to prescribe antibiotics where necessary under a patient group direction, charging patients an additional £8.80, Lloydspharmacy told C+D.
Pharmacies can also offer advice and over-the-counter products to patients who do not require antibiotics, it continued.
Pharmacists have undergone e-learning and face-to-face training to deliver the service, including the swab tests, which Lloydspharmacy claimed offer 98% accuracy in detecting Streptococcus group A.
They are liaising with their local GP surgeries, aiming to “relieve the burden on already stretched GP services”, Lloydspharmacy said.
The service allows pharmacies to “demonstrate the important role they can play” in “appropriate” antibiotic prescribing, while supporting self-care, the multiple continued.
C+D reported in May that 70 pharmacies in Wales were taking part in a sore throat pilot, and that last year up to 200 UK pharmacies were providing a ‘test and treat’ sore throat service, with many using it to help offset the funding cuts in England.
NHS England announced in 2016 it was backing a sore throat swab service in pharmacies – first piloted by Boots in 2014 – to relieve pressure on the NHS, free-up GP appointments, and tackle antibiotic resistance.