Quality standard

This quality standard covers diagnosing and managing urinary tract infections in adults aged 16 and over. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.

In February 2023, this quality standard was updated and replaced the previous version published in June 2015. The topic was identified for update following the annual review of quality standards. The review identified:

  • updated guidance on urinary tract infection in adults
  • new guidance on antimicrobial prescribing for urinary tract infection.

For more information, see update information.

In this quality standard we use the terms 'women' and 'men', based on the source guidance used in its development. Because the anatomical differences are relevant for this topic, the term ‘women’ also applies to people with female anatomy who do not identify as women, and the term ‘male’ to people with male anatomy who do not identify as men.

Women have a shorter urethra than men. This means that bacteria are more likely to reach the bladder or kidneys and cause an infection. The management of urinary tract infection in trans people will need to take account of any gender reassignment surgery and whether there has been structural alteration of the person’s urethra.

NICE has also published a quality standard on urinary tract infection in children and young people.

How to use NICE quality standards and how we develop them

Quality standards help you improve the quality of care you provide or commission. They apply in England and Wales (see the UK government website and Welsh government website). Decisions on how they apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland are made by ministers in the Scottish government and Northern Ireland Executive.

Find out how to use quality standards and how we develop them. We check our quality standards every August to make sure they are up to date.