SA Community Pharmacy Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Services

Update for community pharmacists and training requirements

From 1 March 2024, eligible South Australians with symptoms of uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) can get advice and specified antibiotic treatment from trained pharmacists through SA Community Pharmacy UTI Services, without needing a prescription from a doctor.

Community pharmacists who have completed additional training will be able to 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 as determined by the Minister for Health and Wellbeing by notice in the Government Gazette.  

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.

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).   

Pharmacists are encouraged to start preparing to provide SA Community Pharmacy UTI Services by undertaking the accredited training and familiarising themselves with the conditions of the Scheme. 

SA Health has worked with training providers to ensure the South Australian scheme and supporting management UTI protocol are integrated into the existing online training portals.

UTI Management Protocol

UTI Management Protocol (PDF 435KB) has been developed to support pharmacists providing Community Pharmacy UTI Services under the Scheme and to assist with assessment and help guide their decisions.  This resource has been developed in consultation with medical and pharmacy experts together with consumer input and is based on national evidence-based clinical guidelines and professional standards for management of cystitis (uncomplicated UTI).

Pharmacists should refer to the UTI Management Protocol in conjunction with relevant professional practice standards and evidence based clinical guidelines, in particular the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) Treatment Guidelines for Pharmacists – Cystitis,  advice contained within 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.

The UTI Management protocol is based on these evidence-based guidelines and provides a framework for pharmacists authorised to supply approved medicines for the management of suspected uncomplicated UTI in eligible patients.

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

Eligibility for advice and treatment

Those eligible include women aged 18 to 65 years with an anatomical female urinary tract who are assessed by a community pharmacist to be likely experiencing an uncomplicated UTI and be at low risk of complications.

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, should be referred to a GP or emergency department, as appropriate.

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