Women in Queensland now have access to immediate advice and treatment, including the supply of antibiotics when appropriate, for uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) through their local participating community pharmacy.
The aim of this pilot is to improve access to healthcare for women, with one in two women experiencing a UTI in their lifetime.
1. Who is eligible?
Non-pregnant women, aged 18-65 who are deemed to have an uncomplicated UTI are eligible to participate in the Pilot.
Men will not be eligible to be treated as part of the pilot as symptoms are not reflective of an uncomplicated UTI.
2. Find a participating pharmacy
3. When should I see my doctor?
If through the screening process you are deemed to not have an uncomplicated UTI, your treatment options may include a referral to a GP for further investigation.
A UTI is an infection of the urinary system, which consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. It’s more common than you might think – 1 in 2 women may experience a UTI in their lifetime.1
When an infection affects the lower urinary tract (urethra or bladder), it may be called urethritis, or cystitis if it affects the bladder. When it affects the upper urinary tract (ureters or kidneys) it is called ureteritis, or pyelonephritis if it affects the kidneys.2
UTI are not serious for most women, but symptoms can range from mild to severe. For some people, a UTI can have serious complications, such as kidney damage, kidney failure, or sepsis (blood poisoning)3. It is important that you discuss your signs and symptoms with a healthcare professional to ensure you seek the correct medical advice and treatment. Your community pharmacist can assist.
No, a UTI is not a sexually transmitted infection, but sometimes the symptoms can be similar. Your community pharmacist can discuss your symptoms and provide you with appropriate recommendations and advice.
This Pilot, giving women in Queensland access to immediate advice and treatment for uncomplicated UTIs through their local community pharmacy and participating pharmacist, has been developed in response to recommendations from the Parliamentary inquiry into the establishment of a pharmacy council and transfer of pharmacy ownership in Queensland.
Similar models of care for the management of uncomplicated UTIs by community pharmacists have been successfully implemented in the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand.
No, you will not need to give a urine sample as part of this community pharmacy service. Women who aren’t pregnant can be treated by community pharmacists for uncomplicated UTIs by evaluating their signs and symptoms. If, through the consultation process, your community pharmacist determines any complicating factors or determines that urine culture and testing is required, they will refer you to a general practitioner.
Symptoms of an uncomplicated UTI should respond to appropriate antibiotic therapy within 48 hours of commencing treatment. Dysuria (burning and stinging when urinating) usually improves within a few hours.
This service is being piloted in participating pharmacies in Queensland only. All participating pharmacists are required to undertake mandatory training prior to administering the service.
Find a participating pharmacy above.
5. Further information (including references)
Information for Consumers References
Resources and Useful Links for consumers:
For emergencies, please call: 000
6. Information for Health Professionals
Urinary Tract Infection Pharmacy Pilot – Queensland (UTIPP-Q): The Facts
- Following on from Recommendation Two in the 2018 Parliamentary Inquiry into Community Pharmacy, the Department of Health has engaged the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) to develop, implement and evaluate a state-wide pilot of the management of urinary tract infections (UTIs) by community pharmacists.
- The service may be accessed by non-pregnant women, aged 18-65 who are deemed to have an uncomplicated urinary tract infection. Men will not be eligible to be treated as part of the pilot as symptoms are not reflective of an uncomplicated urinary tract infection.
- Participating pharmacists have undergone additional mandatory training to assess, diagnose and offer appropriate treatment to patients as part of the pilot. The approved online CPD training is available through both the Guild and PSA Learning and Development platform.
- Treatment options may include a supply of antibiotics (if appropriate). If, through the screening process, the patient is deemed to not have an uncomplicated urinary tract infection, their treatment options may include a referral to a GP for further investigation, as covered in the PSA Guidance for provision of antibiotics for acute uncomplicated cystitis in females (the practice standard).
- Models of care for the management of uncomplicated urinary tract infections by community pharmacists have been successfully implemented in the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand.
- Community pharmacy is easily accessible. In capital cities, 97% of consumers are no further than 2.5km from a community pharmacy. In regional areas, 65% of people are within 2.5 km of a pharmacy.
- Community pharmacies are the most frequently accessed and most accessible health destination, with over 456 million individual patient visits annually and the vast majority of pharmacies open after-hours, including weekends.
- Pharmacists are one of the most trusted professions. Public opinion surveys have shown that 84% of adults trust the advice they receive from pharmacists.
- Community pharmacists are accessible and understand this target demographic. At 30 September 2019, there were 32,035 registered pharmacists in Australia. 62.8% of pharmacists are women; and over 60% are under 40 years of age.