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OPAT celebrates first birthday

OPAT team with patients
30 June 2017

Since opening in June 2016, the Outpatient Parenteral Antiobiotic Therapy (OPAT) service has been administering intravenous antibiotics to outpatients in the hospital and in the community. Many of these patients would have otherwise been staying on a ward while they received this treatment, meaning the service has saved more than 2000 bed days in just one year.

A number of families were invited back to celebrate OPAT’s first birthday as they shared tea, cakes, fruit and stories about their conditions. They all agreed the OPAT service made their lives easier.

In the last year there have been 35 community visits by OPAT nurses, while some parents have also been taught to administer IV antibiotics from home, following an initial demonstrated dose by an OPAT nurse.

63 patients have attended the service in the last six months and have benefited from being able to recover at home, continue with school, and enjoy their appointments as they build a rapport with the OPAT staff during their treatment.

As the team look to the next year they are committed to developing the service even further. Their plans include using 24-hour infusion devices which will enable them to provide medicines that are needed more than once or twice a day, working more closely with District General Hospitals (DGHs) for patients under shared care such as for orthopaedics or neurosurgery, and they are considering providing the service to babies from Jessops who need longer courses of IV antibiotics.

Dr Lucy Hinds who works in the OPAT team said: “We’re delighted to see how many patients have benefited from the OPAT service over the last year, in terms of early discharge and quicker return to normal family life. We’re also pleased at how we’ve been able to work really closely with a number of specialty teams across the Trust to give joined up care for families.”

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