Success of OPAT service leads to home comforts for patients

An innovative new service which allows patients to be treated in their own homes rather than in hospital has been rolled out across Lothian.

The Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Treatment (OPAT) service was piloted at the Regional Infectious Diseases Unit at the Western General Hospital in 2011 and has proved a success with patients and staff.

The consultant-led service allows intravenous medication to be administered to outpatients either via self administration in their own home or attending the dedicated OPAT clinic for a short period.

Dr Claire Mackintosh, Consultant Physician in Infectious Diseases, NHS Lothian, said: “The implementation of the OPAT service has been a progressive step for both patients and staff and has proved extremely successful.

“Patients benefit by getting out of hospital sooner allowing them to return to their normal lives and the comfort of their home, and in some cases can be taught to administer the medication at home. 

“Patients have appreciated the opportunity to complete their treatment out of hospital and on occasion OPAT can allow patients to avoid admission altogether without compromising their care.

“The service means more beds are available for patients who need to be treated in hospital and this in turn leads to a more efficient service, whilst providing the same high level of care and promoting the road to recovery for patients in their local communities.”

Dr David Farquharson, Medical Director, NHS Lothian, said: “The implementation of the OPAT service in the Western General Hospital has proved very successful and I’m pleased that so many patients are benefiting from the scheme.

“We welcome any initiative which helps aid patients’ recovery and makes them feel more comfortable, and we look forward to extending the OPAT service to other sites across NHS Lothian.”

Based on the success of the project, there are plans in place to ensure the service will be permanent with plans to introduce the service at St. John’s Hospital in Livingston.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  • The OPAT team treats patients from anywhere in Lothian and to date more than 400 patients have been treated under OPAT. Around a third of patients have been taught to administer their own antimicrobial treatment. 

 

18/04/2013