The £4.99 service for patients aged over 18 – which is available across 600 Lloydspharmacy branches in England, Scotland and Wales – is delivered by pharmacists and involves a questionnaire, physical examination and mouth swab test.
An estimated 1,000 patients have enquired about the service, “some” of whom have undergone the test and received appropriate advice and treatment, Lloydspharmacy told C+D last week (January 10).
“We’ve also seen positive interest…online with tens of thousands of views of our service information pages,” Lloydspharmacy head of retail trading John Acland said.
Around 30% of the patients who have used the service have been supplied antibiotics under a patient group direction, at an additional cost of £8.80, he added.
“If appropriate antibiotics are supplied, but in many cases over-the-counter treatments are more suitable. We want to ensure we are providing a holistic approach to patient care,” Mr Acland stressed.
The service has been “well received” by Lloydspharmacy staff, Mr Acland told C+D, who felt it “is something that should be available in pharmacy”. He expects uptake to rise when incidents of cough, colds and flu increase as the temperature drops further, he said.
“We will be reviewing the service at the end of peak season in March…to understand the appetite to extend the service.”
Superdrug announced last month it had launched a free sore throat service in more than 200 of its pharmacies across the UK.