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Community Pharmacist Views On The Early Stages Of Implementation Of A Pathfinder Sore Throat Test And Treat Service In Wales: An Exploratory Study

Authors Mantzourani E, Hicks R, Evans A, Williams E, Way C, Deslandes R

Received 30 July 2019

Accepted for publication 23 September 2019

Published 11 November 2019 Volume 2019:8 Pages 105—113


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jonathan Ling

Efi Mantzourani,1,2 Ricky Hicks,1 Andrew Evans,3 Emma Williams,2 Cheryl Way,2 Rhian Deslandes1

1School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK; 2NHS Wales Informatics Service, Primary Care Services, Cardiff, Wales, UK; 3Welsh Government, Health and Social Services, Cardiff, Wales, UK

Correspondence: Efi Mantzourani
NHS Wales Informatics Service, Cowbridge Road, Cardiff, UK and School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cardiff University, Redwood Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff CF10 3NB, UK
Tel +44 29 20 870 452

Objectives: To explore the views and opinions of community pharmacists regarding their initial experience of and levels of preparedness for the pathfinder sore throat test and treat (STTT) service in Wales.
Methods: A phenomenological qualitative approach with constructivist paradigm was adopted as the first cycle of ongoing action research. Semi-structured interviews with community pharmacists who had completed at least three consultations within the first 3 weeks of the service were conducted, with informed consent and audio recorded. Interviews were transcribed ad verbatim and data were thematically analysed both inductively and deductively.
Results: A total of seven interviews with pharmacists who had conducted more than three consultations identified three main themes: 1) perceived impact of the service on patient care, including the value of the structure and technology infrastructure, the role of STTT towards antimicrobial stewardship, and its potential role in rebalancing primary care resources so that workload is distributed appropriately among healthcare professionals; 2) factors that empower pharmacists to deliver the service, in particular quality and consistency of training, appropriate staffing resource and internally motivated willingness to engage; 3) interface with GP surgeries such as nature of existing relationships before implementing the service, role of GP staff and GP perceived value of STTT.
Conclusion: The pathfinder STTT service has been well received by pharmacists who recognised the service’s role in providing patient education and contributing to principles of antimicrobial stewardship and described factors that would empower them to deliver the service confidently. Results have been fed back to the service implementation team to inform future developments.

Keywords: sore throat test and treat, point-of-care testing, community pharmacy, antimicrobial stewardship, pharmacy services

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