Women aged 16-64 who live in the Borders can now visit a local community pharmacist when they have symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI), without the need to make an appointment with their GP.

The service is currently available at 15 Community pharmacies in the Borders with more being made available over the next several months.  The pharmacists have been trained to diagnose and treat uncomplicated UTIs, thereby saving both GPs and their patient’s time and resources.

Adrian MacKenzie, Lead Pharmacist for NHS Borders said: “Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common and can be very painful and uncomfortable but usually pass within a few days or can be easily treated with a course of antibiotics. They’re more common in women than in men and around half of all women in the UK will have a UTI at least once in their life.

“By introducing UTI services to community pharmacies in the Borders we are able to make it as easy as possible for women to receive the advice and treatment they need.”

Alison Wilson, Director of Pharmacy for NHS Borders said: “I am delighted with the introduction of the UTI service to community pharmacies in the Borders. The service demonstrates the continuous improvement we are making to the quality of womens health services in the Borders.”

Patients who cannot be treated through this service will be signposted to the most appropriate healthcare provider.

Border community pharmacies offering UTI Service are:

 

Town

 

Pharmacy

 

Can Deliver UTI Service

Berwick

Lloyds Pharmacy

No

Chirnside

Grays Pharmacy

Yes

Coldstream

Coldstream Pharmacy

Yes

Duns

GLM Romanes Ltd

Yes

Earlston

R G Turnbull Ltd

No

Eyemouth

GLM Romanes Ltd

Yes

Galashiels

Boots Pharmacy

Yes

Galashiels

Borders Pharmacy

No

Galashiels

M Farren Ltd

No

Galashiels

Lloyds Pharmacy

Yes

Galashiels

Tesco Pharmacy

No

Greenlaw

GLM Romanes Ltd

Yes

Hawick

T N Crosby Chemist

Yes

Hawick

Boots Pharmacy

No

Hawick

Borders Pharmacy

No

Hawick

Lindsay & Gilmour

Yes

Hawick

HHCC Pharmacy

Yes

Innerleithen

M Farren Ltd

No

Jedburgh

Jedburgh Pharmacy

Yes

Jedburgh

Boots Pharmacy

Yes

Kelso

Lloyds Pharmacy

Yes

Kelso

Boots Pharmacy

Yes

Lauder

Lauder Pharmacy

Yes

Melrose

Boots Pharmacy

No

Newtown St Boswells

Eildon Pharmacy Ltd

No

Peebles

Lloyds Pharmacy

Yes

Peebles

Boots Pharmacy

Yes

Selkirk

Lindsay & Gilmour

No

Selkirk

A A Weir Ltd

Yes

West Linton

West Linton Pharmacy

Yes

Men will not be able to use the pharmacy UTI service.

Women outwith 16-64 years of age, who have recurring urinary infections or who may be pregnant will not be able to use the pharmacy UTI service.

There may be other reasons, eg. medical conditions, why a women may not be able to use the pharmacy UTI service.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common. They can be painful and uncomfortable but they usually pass within a few days or can be easily treated with a course of antibiotics. They're more common in women than in men - it's estimated that half of all women in the UK will have a UTI at least once in their life and one out of every 2,000 healthy men will develop one each year. Children also get UTIs, although this is less common.

If you develop a UTI, you are likely to feel:

  • Pain or a burning sensation when urinating (doctors refer to this as dysuria)
  • A need to urinate often
  • Pain in the lower abdomen (tummy)

What is the urinary tract?

The urinary tract is where our bodies make, and get rid of, urine. It's made up of:

  • The kidneys: these are two bean-shaped organs that make urine out of waste materials from the blood
  • The ureters: tubes that run from the kidney to the bladder
  • The bladder: where urine is stored until we go to the toilet
  • The urethra: the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the hole where it leaves the body (in men this is at the tip of the penis, in women it's between the vagina and the clitoris)

Preventing UTIs

Drinking cranberry juice may help to prevent UTIs. If you have had recurring UTIs, higher-strength cranberry capsules are recommended. These are available from most pharmacists. Don't drink cranberry juice or take cranberry capsules if you are taking warfarin (a medicine that is used to prevent blood clots).

Constipation (where it is difficult to defecate or poo) can increase your chances of developing a UTI. You should act quickly to treat constipation by:

  • Increasing the amount of fibre in your diet (20g to 30g of fibre a day)
  • Using a mild laxative on a short-term basis
  • Drinking plenty of fluids

See your GP if your constipation symptoms don't improve after 14 days.

Women who get recurring UTIs, and use condoms, should try using condoms that don't have a spermicidal lubricant on them - it will say whether it does on the packet. Spermicidal lubricant can cause irritation and make it more likely that you'll get a UTI.