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Sore Throat Test & Treat Service



The Sore Throat Test & Treat Service relieves pressure on general practice and reduces unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics through effective community pharmacy screening.

Each year around 1.2 million people visit the GP with sore throats. Recent studies show 62% of these visits result in antibiotics being prescribed. A feasibility pilot found that less than 10% of people who presented with a sore throat had a group A streptococci (Strep A) bacterial infection.

The walk-in Sore Throat Test & Treat Service at community pharmacies uses a validated screening tool and can provide a simple swab test for Strep A, which can cause bacterial infections in the throat. If positive, patients can receive antibiotics from a pharmacist, via a Patient Group Direction (PGD) without needing to visit the GP.

Benefits of the service:

  • reduces the pressure to prescribe antibiotics
  • reduces the emergence of resistance to antibiotics through targeted supply
  • provides quick, convenient access to a healthcare professional
  • reduces pressure on GPs.

Part of the NIA (NHS Innovation Accelerator) programme, the Sore Throat Test & Treat Service  is being delivered in partnership with the Innovation Agency, which is supporting the scaling up and roll out of the service.

Useful resources

Sore Throat Test & Treat Service by Malcolm Harrison, Registered Pharmacist and NIA Fellow

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