Diagnosis and Management of Group A Streptococcus Infections

We realise you are working in unprecedented times yet again and facing new levels of unprecedented demand.

We are aware that the release of the alert from UKSHA and the subsequent media frenzy has caused significant fear and alarm for parents. We realise this has lead to immense, record breaking demand from terrified parents some with sick children and some without. We are aware that the guidance has been quite vague to date and that you are also not only having difficult clinical decisions to make but also battling with the consequent drug shortages that have arisen from this immense demand that has suddenly arrived.

If you are feeling uncertain about who we should be treating and at what threshold or confused about the myriad of information that has been put out around this then listen to this calm, sensible, pragmatic podcast: Diagnosis and Management of Group A Streptococcus Infections. It will be the best use of 15 minutes of your time today.

Dr Andy Purbrick, Joint Chief Executive of Wessex LMCs & a Dorset GP, discusses with Dr Sanjay Patel, paediatric infectious diseases & immunology consultant at Southampton Childrens’ Hospital.

You may wish to think about using all your channels to feed reliable information to your patients.

This could include altering your phone message, Facebook page or texting out to include resource to your patients. As an LMC we will be working with all the ICBs around supportive messaging for both you, your patients and the public as we know this is vital for you, as our members.

Group A Streptococcus Infections – where are we now? (January 2023)

Dr Sanjay Patel joins Dr Will Howard, Medical Director at Wessex LMCs to give us an update on the current situation with the Group A Strep outbreak.

Listen to the podcast here and please do circulate to all your colleagues.
We also encourage you to continue to share the Healthier Together website as a reliable source of information for your patients.

We also encourage you to continue to share the Healthier Together website as a reliable source of information for your patients.

Serious shortage protocols (SSPs)

Usually when a patient presents a prescription, by law, the pharmacist can only supply what is on the prescription. If the medicine isn’t available, the patient must be sent back to the prescriber to get a new prescription for an alternative. Issuing a Serious Shortage Protocol (SSP) allows pharmacists to legally supply a specified alternative medicine, removing the need for the patient to return to the prescriber – which saves time in GP practices and inconvenience for patients.

There are various versions of penicillin – liquid, sugar-free liquid, and tablet – and the SSPs issued will give pharmacists the flexibility to supply an alternative formulation, if they don’t have the one listed in stock.

There are now 8 SSPs in place and details can be found on the NHSBSA website – Serious shortage protocols (SSPs) | NHSBSA

Useful links:

Strep A guidance for patients and the public

Group A streptococcus communications to clinicians

Strep A and scarlet fever :: Healthier Together (

Download the Healthier Together app :: Healthier Together (


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