New RSV and flu testing services now available at five Lawtons walk-in clinic locations

Nova Scotians now have access to point-of-care testing for strep, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza at Pharmacy Walk-in Clinic+ locations in New Glasgow, Truro, Lower Sackville, New Minas – and the new Mill Cove site in Bedford, which opened May 1.

Sobeys and Lawtons Drugs, and Nova Scotia Health have partnered since 2022 on a collaborative care model pairing pharmacists and nurse practitioners in a walk-in clinical setting to practise to their full scope to serve Nova Scotians who may not have access to other health care options. Pharmacists and nurse practitioners can now provide consults for non-emergency health concerns, which now includes point-of-care testing. Nova Scotians can book an appointment during business hours at their nearest Pharmacy Walk-in Clinic+ site.

“I am pleased to state that Pharmacy Walk-in Clinic+ is a successful innovative model of care that has scaled across the province within a short period of time. This initiative started as a small “test and try” only a year ago through the Health Innovation Hub and in partnership with Lawtons Drugs and Nova Scotia Health,” said Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy, Vice-President of Research, Innovation and Discovery and Chief Nurse Executive at Nova Scotia Health.

“This is a great example of many strategic initiatives that are being implemented through the Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub, working with key partners to bring care closer to home and in communities for Nova Scotians, especially for those without a primary care provider,” Tomblin Murphy said.

Working alongside a nurse practitioner, the Pharmacy Walk-in Clinic+ model enables pharmacists to work to full scopes of practice to enable timely access to care such as performing instant, point of care testing for flu, strep, respiratory virus (RSV), and COVID-19.

Since February 2022, more than 14,000 Nova Scotians have received treatment at Pharmacy Walk-in Clinic+ locations. Patients are mostly unattached without a primary care provider and living with multiple chronic diseases.

“With the right partners, and the right model in place, pharmacists practising top of scope can be an incredible resource to our health care system,” said Vivek Sood, Sobeys Executive Vice President of Related Businesses. “Together with Nova Scotia Health, we’re demonstrating how we have been able to leverage pharmacy expertise to meet demand for certain types of care, including chronic disease management.”

In addition to point-of-care testing, all Pharmacy Walk-in Clinic+ locations can order and interpret patient lab work; diagnose and treat routine and more immediate health concerns (e.g. urinary tract infections, Lyme prevention, contraception, shingles); prescribe medications and prescription renewals; medication management or modifications; chronic disease management (diabetes, cardiovascular and lung diseases), mental health support; Health screening and preventative care; Ordering and interpreting tests; performing exams and minor procedures; vaccinations and injections; making referrals to specialists and other health care providers.

Sobeys and Lawtons Drugs, and Nova Scotia Health will continue to partner to expand the number of Pharmacy Walk-in Clinic+ sites and health services available to increase access to care for Nova Scotians.

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