Liverpool CCG and Community Pharmacy Liverpool launch FebriDx point-of-care test

It is hoped that the test will provide patients with a more convenient way to access treatment for respiratory problems.

Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Community Pharmacy Liverpool have launched a new clinical service which will allow more than 100 pharmacies to offer a ten-minute point-of-care test to differentiate bacterial infections from viral respiratory infections.

The test, called FebriDx, will be used for acute cough patients at pharmacies in Liverpool as part of a new service for minor ailments called Pharmacy First. This means that rapid diagnoses and the prescription of appropriate antibiotics will be available without the need to consult a GP first.

The FebriDx test has already been used in some hospitals and medical practices across the UK for three years, but is now being used for the first time in the Merseyside region.

NHS Liverpool CCG is responsible for bringing hospital and community health services into operation for the citizens of Liverpool and has a budget of around £840m a year.

“It is often difficult for healthcare providers to determine whether a respiratory infection is bacterial or viral without this type of rapid test because the symptoms are almost identical,” said Peter Johnstone, head of drug optimization for Liverpool CCG.

“FebriDx lends itself very well to the Pharmacy First initiative: the test uses a small blood sample taken from the finger to differentiate a bacterial acute respiratory infection from an acute viral infection in just ten minutes and we are starting to offer it in pharmacies to help ensure people get the right treatment.

“Our aim is to provide patients with more convenient access to testing and treatment for acute cough under a new Patient Group Leadership (PGD),” says Matt Harvey, Managing Director of Community Pharmacy Liverpool. “With the high number of patients suffering from coughs and respiratory problems during the winter season, we see a real opportunity to introduce this test to local pharmacies to help us provide treatment to patients faster, without the need for an appointment with a GP or a prior prescription.”

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