The Bevan Commission Planned Care Innovation Programme (PCIP), funded by Welsh Government, aims to reduce patient waiting times, tackle the growing backlog and reduce overall demand on planned care services in Wales by supporting 17 innovative and diverse projects across all seven NHS Health Boards and two NHS Trusts.
One of the most research-focused projects involves significant improvements in patient care.
The project is entitled, ‘Tackling the neglected disease in our midst: towards evidence-based treatment decisions for UTIs at point-of-care’ and is being delivered by Llusern Scientific Ltd in partnership with Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.
The team leading the project is:
- Dr Emma Hayhurst, CEO Llusern Scientific Ltd and Senior Lecturer at the University of South Wales
- Dr Jeroen Nieuwland, CSO Llusern Scientific Ltd and Senior Lecturer at the University of South Wales
- Alison King, Chief Biomedical Scientist at CTMUHB
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are one of the most common bacterial infections globally, with 90% patients being women. The current gold standard for diagnosis takes 2-3 days, meaning treatment decisions are made without diagnosis, leading to unnecessary prescriptions. This new, innovative test provides results in 40 minutes, allowing GPs and pharmacists to make evidence-based treatment decisions for women suffering in pain, reducing reliance on antibiotics. Clinical results to date suggest that the test has 93% sensitivity and 99% specificity. It is also portable and easy to use, and requires no sampling processing, meaning that in the future it can be adapted for use in diverse patient populations and settings, including potentially community and emergency care.
Alongside a reduction in antibiotic prescriptions (around 20% of all antibiotic prescriptions in Wales are unnecessary), additional benefits of a rapid test are fewer repeat GP appointments and a reduction in secondary care admissions. Each of these benefits carries with it a time and cost saving for both the NHS and the patient. If the project is successful, the next step will be to obtain regulatory approval for use of the test in the rest of the UK.
Hosted and supported by Swansea University, The Bevan Commission is Wales’s leading health and care think tank.