Boots is rolling out a cystitis test and treat service to almost 300 stores across the UK, following a successful pilot scheme in London and Sheffield.

The new private service includes a urine self-testing kit and an app, which turns a smartphone camera into a clinical grade analyser to help customers quickly test for a possible urinary tract infection (UTI) from the comfort of their own homes.

The test helps to ensure customers receive the right type of treatment for their symptoms, and aims to reduce pressure on GPs. The combination of convenient testing and a discussion with a Boots pharmacist will help ensure that antibiotics are only supplied when appropriate which, in turn, will help to combat the rise of antibiotic resistance.

The test is a three step service; The pharmacy advisor or pharmacist will ask the customer a few simple questions about their symptoms. If the symptoms described match those of an uncomplicated lower UTI, and provided there is nothing else of concern, the customer will have the option of purchasing a Dip UTI urine test for £10.

The customer can then use the app to guide them through the process of completing the Dip UTI urine test and scanning the sampled dipstick. Within minutes, the analysis will be displayed through the app on their phone.

After this, the customer should return to any participating Boots pharmacy to discuss their symptoms and result with a pharmacist, who will offer self-care advice and discuss possible treatment options.

Asif Aziz, director of pharmacy services and operations at Boots UK, commented that “The NHS Long Term Plan highlights the growing need to use new diagnostics, and the introduction of this service shows the enhanced role that community pharmacies can play in supporting services offered by the NHS and GPs.”

He continued, “It also highlights the excellent clinical skills our pharmacists can offer, to support patients’ health in locations and at times that are convenient to them. The service can also help to support appropriate use of antibiotics.”

During the pilot over the last seven months, over 1,000 customers accessed the service, with the majority of them completing the service in the same day, highlighting how accessible and convenient the service was to use.