Urinary Tract Infection

We will no longer be accepting urine samples dropped in at reception for suspected urinary tract infections, unless we have asked the patient to provide a sample, as this is no longer considered best practice.

We cannot accept any urine sample that has not been specifically requested. We cannot store urine samples for reasons of safety and clinical effectiveness.

Please note : We do not perform urine dipsticks in patients over 65 years of age.

This is because urine dipsticks become more unreliable with increasing age. Up to half of older adults, and most with a urinary catheter, will have bacteria present in the bladder/urine without an infection. This “asymptomatic bacteriuria” is not harmful, and although it causes a positive urine dipstick, antibiotics are not beneficial and may cause harm.

If you feel you have a water/urinary tract infection, our reception team will take details of your symptoms. This information will be passed to a clinician to consider what steps need to be taken.

If the clinician feels a sample is needed, they will ask you to bring one in.

If you have been asked to bring a sample to the surgery, we will only be able to accept this sample in an appropriate container. These are available to buy at our reception desk for 20 pence or can be bought from pharmacies, but costs may vary. We are unable to accept urine samples in any other containers, due to the risk of contamination.

If you are asked to provide a urine sample

What are urine samples used for?

Your GP or another healthcare professional may ask for a urine sample to help them diagnose or rule out health conditions. Urine contains waste products that are filtered out of the body. If it contains anything unusual, this may indicate an underlying health condition.

What do I need to know about collecting a urine sample?

If you are in the practice and are asked to provide a urine sample , a member of our team will give you a container and explain  how to collect the sample.

On certain occasions you might be asked by phone call, text or letter, to provide a urine sample .In these instances you can purchase  a sample container from our reception team.

How do I provide a midstream specimen of urine?

The aim is to obtain a sample (specimen) of urine from the middle of your bladder. Urine does not normally have any germs (bacteria) in it (urine should be sterile). If bacteria are found in the sample, it means that the urine is infected. A midstream specimen of urine (MSU) is best, as the first bit of urine that you pass may be contaminated with bacteria from the skin.

To collect a clean urine sample you should:

label the container with your name, date of birth and the date

wash your hands

wash your genitalia to avoid contamination

start to urinate but don’t collect the first part of urine that comes out

Pass some urine into the toilet. Then, without stopping the flow of urine, catch some urine in the clean (sterile) container that has been provided to you. Once you have enough urine in the bottle, finish off passing the rest of your urine into the toilet.

screw the lid of the container shut

wash your hands thoroughly

As long as the sample is clean and properly labelled you can drop the sample container in at the reception desk with one of our team.

If you have been unable to label your sample correctly, please speak to our reception team for support.

 If you can’t hand your urine sample in within an hour, you should keep it in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge (for no longer than 24 hours) to prevent bacteria multiplying and affecting the test results.

You can collect a urine sample at any time of day unless your GP practice team advises you otherwise. If you are given you any other instructions, you should also follow these.

Urine specimens and children

It is not easy to obtain a pure midstream specimen of urine (MSU) in young children and babies. The following methods may be used:

The clean catch method

The usual way is to catch some urine in the specimen bottle whilst the child is passing urine. This is called the clean catch method. Just be ready with the open bottle as the child passes urine. (Be careful not to touch the open rim of the bottle with your fingers, as this may contaminate the specimen with germs (bacteria) from your fingers.)

For babies the following might work: take the nappy off about one hour after a feed. Tap very gently with a finger (about once a second) just at the bottom of the tummy (abdomen) above the genitals. Have the open bottle ready. Quite often, within about five minutes, the baby will pass urine. Try to catch some in the bottle.

Urine pads

One method is to place a special absorbent pad in a nappy. Our team may will provide the special pad and will explain who to use this. Do not use any other type of pads, cotton wool balls or gauze as they could alter the results.

Urine collection bags

These are bags which are placed inside the nappy to collect urine. Our team will explain how to use these.

Always wash your child’s genital area and dry it carefully before sticking the bag on. This is so germs from the skin are not mixed in with the urine.