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The University of Southampton
Primary Care Research Centre


Welcome to the Phased-In online project page.


The Phased-In study aims to finish development and feasibility test a pharmacy package using decision-making tools and point of care tests to share the management of acute infections in primary care.

Developing tools to support antibiotic stewardship

We are developing evidence based ‘decision-making tools’ to standardise care and help identify people who do not need antibiotics, and those who might need them, or need further assessment. The intervention will include these decision-making tools, as well as diagnostic tests that can be carried out on the spot if needed (such as C-reactive protein) and patient leaflets to support self-care. There will be a training package to help health professionals to use all these tools in patient consultations. We will continue working closely with patients, pharmacists, and other prescribers from general practice (GPs, nurses) to make sure the tools and training are helpful and easy to use.

Testing the feasibility of using the package

10 general practices will continue with management as usual, and 10 will be trained to

refer patients presenting with common infections to linked community pharmacies who will use the intervention. We will include practices in a wide range of settings (including high and low income areas, urban and rural, and practices with high ethnic minority populations) and will look at how well the service works, what the implications are for providing the service, and patient and healthcare professional views with a view to any revisions needed prior to a fuller trial of the new service.


Public contributors have helped design this study, are members of our study team, and will be involved in study management, delivery, and dissemination. We have also recruited a PPIE reference group with a wider range of people from different backgrounds to help throughout the study.


This study is being conducted by the Primary Care Research Centre .

What is the study about?

  • One in three people contact their GP surgery each year with minor infections, such as sore throat, cough, cold, ear, urinary and skin infections.  More infections are now being managed by trained pharmacists.  This service is already offered in many areas, helping patients as well as helping to use our NHS services more efficiently.
  • We have developed ‘decision-making tools’ to help pharmacists improve the quality of care that patients receive.
  • To test this new approach some GP surgeries will refer patients with minor infections to pharmacists and others continue to see their patients as usual at the GP surgery.

If your GP surgery is in the group, they will offer a ‘fast-track’ appointment with your local pharmacist.

Will I receive the same care from my pharmacist as from my GP?

  • Yes – you will receive the same care, at no extra cost, and have an appointment sooner.
  • Pharmacists are highly trained experts in health and medicine. They follow the same medical guidelines as GPs, so you will have the same assessment, advice and treatment.
  • Pharmacists are trained to recognise symptoms of serious illness – and will refer you back to your GP surgery if necessary.
  • If you need medication, your pharmacist can provide you with it straight away (both over-the-counter and prescription).

Details of your consultation will be given to your GP surgery for your medical records.

Study Protocol

Co-Chief Investigators:

Professor Paul Little

Dr Mark Lown

Local Co-Investigators:

Professor Gareth Griffiths

Associate Professor Ingrid Muller

Professor Sue Latter

Professor Nicholas Francis

Professor Tracey Sach

Professor James Raftery

Professor Lucy Yardley

Dr Taeko Becque

Study Team:

Dr Jane Vennik, Senior Research Fellow

Dr Sascha Miller, Senior Research Fellow

Sam Williams, Trial Manager

Lana Weir, Senior Research Assistant

Co-Investigators at other Institutions:

Samantha Richards-Hall, PPIE Lead

Associate Professor Sarah Tonkin-Crine, University of Oxford

Professor Simon DeLusignan, University of Oxford

Professor Christopher Butler, University of Oxford

Professor Christine Bond, University of Aberdeen

Dr Kieran Hand, National Pharmacy and prescribing clinical lead for AMR at NHS England

Professor Colin Garner, Charity Representative

Deb Smith, public contributor

Firoza Davies, public contributor

Sian Lloyd Jones, public contributor


National Institute for Health Research Health and Social Care Delivery Research (NIHR HSDR)


October 2023 – February 2025

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