New Outpatient Antibiotic Service Introduced

New Outpatient Antibiotic Service Introduced

More people who need regular intravenous antibiotics are to be treated at home or in outpatient departments, as part of a pilot project to help them avoid having to stay in hospital. The scheme, known as OPAT, can be used for patients with severe or deep-seated infections who require this type of therapy but are otherwise stable and well.

Plans are now in place to develop an outpatient antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) service over the next 24 months, which will be delivered in three distinct phases.  The first stage will involve a pilot of 45 patients over 60 days. This will be followed by the establishment of a hospital based outpatient service moving to treatment at home or in the community for the last part of the project.

The OPAT service, which was first developed in the United States for the treatment of children with cystic fibrosis, is predicted to free up beds and avoid people having to be admitted to hospital from the Emergency Department. It is most widely used for patients with soft tissue sepsis, mainly cellulitis, as well as bone and joint infections.

A project team has been established including an infectious diseases physician, head of nursing, clinical lead pharmacist and finance manager to take forward the service development which aims to improve patient satisfaction and quality of care.

In addition, there will be a focus on developing nursing staff into lead specialist roles and the creation of OPAT champions within both acute and community sites.

Spring 2018 Developments & Innovations