The test, named FebriDx®, will be used for patients with an acute cough at pharmacies across Liverpool under a new minor ailments service known as Pharmacy First, to enable rapid diagnoses and appropriate antibiotic prescribing – without the need for a GP appointment first.
“It is often difficult for healthcare providers to determine if a respiratory infection is bacterial or viral without this type of rapid testing because the symptoms are nearly identical,” said Peter Johnstone, Head of Medicines Optimisation for Liverpool CCG.
“FebriDx lends itself to the Pharmacy First initiative really well – the test uses a small finger stick blood sample to differentiate a bacterial from viral acute respiratory infection in just 10 minutes, and we’re starting to offer this in local pharmacies to help ensure people get the right treatment.”
The FebriDx test has already been in use in some hospitals and GP Surgeries across the UK for three years, but this is the first time it has been used in the Merseyside region.
“Our goal is to provide patients with more convenient access to testing and treatment for acute cough under a new Patient Group Direction (PGD),” explains Matt Harvey, Chief Officer of Community Pharmacy Liverpool. “With the high volumes of patients with coughs and respiratory problems during the winter season, we see a real opportunity to bring this test into local pharmacies to help us provide treatment for patients more quickly – without the need for a GP appointment or prescription first.”
In addition to the convenience, clinical studies show that this test allows healthcare providers to rule out bacterial infections for their patients with 99% confidence, which can help reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics and reduce antimicrobial resistance.
To learn more about this service, please visit: www.liverpoolccg.nhs.uk
About NHS Liverpool CCG
NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is responsible for commissioning (planning and buying) hospital and community health services for the people of Liverpool. It has a budget of around £840m a year. The CCG is made up of representatives from each of the city’s 85 GP practices, and is led by a Governing Body consisting of GPs from across the city. Visit the website at: www.liverpoolccg.nhs.uk
About Community Pharmacy Liverpool
Community Pharmacy Liverpool is Liverpool’s local pharmaceutical committee (LPC), an organisation which represents community pharmacies across the city. Visit the website at: www.liverpool-lpc.org.uk