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Reducing antibiotic prescription rates

Pharmacies in the North East and North Cumbria are developing more services that people would have traditionally gone to their GP surgery for - helping our communities to get faster and easier access to advice and treatment. 

Community pharmacists across the region will soon be able to offer 'over the counter' medication for many common health conditions including earache, sinusitis, shingles and sore throats as well as providing flu and COVID-19 vaccinations, blood pressure checks and medication reviews.

Thousands of women, in the North East and North Cumbria ICB region, are already benefitting from an innovative new pharmacy scheme enabling women aged 16-64 to be offered immediate advice and treatment for minor urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Backed by a regional wide public campaign, #OUCH #ByeByeUTI, the original pilot scheme ran in 435 community pharmacies, and has to date treated more than 30,000 patients.

Not only did the project improve access to advice and treatment but also reduced demand on GP surgeries and other unnecessary visits to services such as urgent treatment centres and emergency departments.

The scheme has also reduced UTI antibiotic prescribing rates by 47 per cent, supporting efforts to slow down antibiotic resistance.  

The region's UTI pilot scheme has played a key part in NHS England's Primary Care Recovery Plan and has now been adopted nationally.

The #OUCH Bye Bye UTI communications campaign was recognised with three national Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Excellence Awards, winning Best Public Sector Award, Health and/or Wellbeing Award and Low Budget Campaign Award, read more here. The campaign also won one regional Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) PRide Award, for Best Public Sector campaign and the Health Service Journal (HSJ) best NHS communication campaign.

Watch our UTI animations and film below.



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