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Choose Pharmacy wins innovation award

The NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS) Choose Pharmacy team have won the innovation and technology category at the Antibiotic Guardians Awards. The ceremony, which took place in June 2019, celebrates the work of Healthcare professionals across the UK and abroad in tackling antimicrobial resistance.

The team won for the development of the Sore Throat Test & Treat module, which has recently been piloted in Cwm Taf Morgannwg and Betsi Cadwaladr Health Boards.

The Choose Pharmacy application is available in 98% of community pharmacies in Wales. The new service is part of the Common Ailments Scheme (CAS) supporting patients across all Health Boards to manage common conditions instead of needing to see a GP. For patients presenting with a sore throat, pharmacists assess patients’ symptoms by undertaking a sore throat examination, including a simple throat swab test for those with symptoms which suggest they have a bacterial infection. The results of the test are available in minutes and will help the pharmacist and patient decide on the best treatment, including antibiotics when appropriate, and advice to manage the symptoms.

National Pharmacy and Medicines Management Lead, Cheryl Way, said, “The Sore Throat Test & Treat service ensures that patients take antibiotics only when they are truly needed, and without putting extra pressure on GP workload for getting a prescription.”

Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething said, “This is a significant achievement as these awards are an excellent opportunity to champion organisations and individuals who have supported the Antibiotic Guardian campaign and demonstrated achievement in their work to tackle antimicrobial resistance, one of the biggest global public threats.”

Cheryl Way added, “The collaborative approach between Pharmacies, GPs, CPW, NWIS and other agencies, has ensured success, and it really shows how technology can support community pharmacists to deliver enhanced services.”

The development of service was funded by Welsh Government. NWIS will now begin plans to have the Sore Throat Test & Treat module made available for national implementation.