SA Community Pharmacy Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Services

Information for healthcare professionals

From 1 March 2024, eligible South Australian women aged 18-65 with symptoms of uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) can speak to trained community pharmacists and may be supplied a one-off course of antibiotics if they meet certain clinical criteria, without needing a prescription from a doctor.

Community pharmacists who have completed accredited training in UTI management will provide services to eligible patients for the treatment of acute uncomplicated urinary tract infection (UTI) in accordance with the conditions of the Community Pharmacy Urinary Tract Infection Services Scheme. 

These services complement those already available through other health providers such as general practitioners (GPs), providing access and choice for consumers to get the health advice and care they need in a timely manner, particularly when other services are unavailable. The services will also reduce the impact on patients needing to attend hospital Emergency Departments for access to advice and treatment and will help to ensure uncomplicated UTIs are treated, avoiding progression to more severe forms. 

Patient eligibility

Women aged 18 to 65 years with symptoms of an uncomplicated UTI can speak with a trained pharmacist to be assessed to determine if they are likely experiencing an uncomplicated UTI and are at low risk of complications or other conditions.

Patients who are assessed by a pharmacist as being at risk of a complicated UTI, having health complications or displaying any symptoms of a serious infection, will be referred to a GP or other health services as appropriate. Patients may also be referred if there are symptoms inconsistent with a UTI (e.g. a sexually transmitted infection).

Further information on patient eligibility is available in the  SA Community Pharmacy Urinary Tract Infection Services Scheme UTI Management Protocol (PDF 435KB).

Training

Completion of accredited training for pharmacists on UTI treatment is mandatory prior to offering SA Community Pharmacy UTI Services.

Accredited training is currently provided by the Australasian College of Pharmacy (ACP) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).   

UTI Management Protocol

The UTI Management Protocol (PDF 435KB) has been developed to support provision  of Community Pharmacy UTI Services under the Scheme and to assist with assessment and help guide decisions about when treatment may be provided or where referral for further medical advice is the best option.

This resource was developed in consultation with medical and pharmacy experts together with consumer input. It is based on national evidence-based clinical guidelines and professional standards for management of cystitis (uncomplicated UTI).

Pharmacists providing UTI Services will also refer to relevant professional practice standards and evidence based clinical guidelines, including  the  Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) Treatment Guidelines for Pharmacists – Cystitis, the Therapeutic Guidelines and Australian Medicines Handbook, and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Professional Practice Standards 2023, version 6.

The SA Health Urinary Tract Infections (adult): Empirical Treatment Clinical Guideline (PDF 514KB) is also in place in South Australia.

Clinical documentation and patient information

Consultations, including any supply of antibiotics, will be documented and recorded by the pharmacist.

To support continuity of care, patients will be provided a record of their treatment and consultation and encouraged to pass on this information to their GP or health care provider. Pharmacists may, with patient consent, share a record of the consultation and any medicine supply with the patient’s usual treating GP or GP practice, where the patient has one.

Pharmacists will upload details of medicine supply into My Health Record, where a patient has one and with their consent.

Referrals to GP and other health services

The UTI Management Protocol includes a Clinical Flow Chart that provides information to guide clinical decision-making and about when referral to a GP or other health service is recommended (such as healthdirect, Medicare Urgent Care Clinic or hospital emergency department, where appropriate).   

GPs and practice managers may be alerted to the possibility of referrals from community pharmacy UTI services, as pharmacists may seek to assist patients who require follow up.

Cost

Pharmacists may charge a consultation fee for the service, in addition to the cost of any medicine that is supplied. Pharmacists will ensure that the patient understands the costs involved when offering the service.

Feedback

If you would like to provide feedback on the services, you may email communitypharmacyinitiatives@sa.gov.au