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OPAT Service

The Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy (OPAT) Team provides a service to allow early discharge of medically stable patients who remain in hospital only because of the need for continued intravenous antibiotics. The aim is to provide treatment that is equal to inpatient care, if not superior.

The OPAT service is run by the Infection care group and we work closely with the Venous Access Team.

The service is staffed by infection doctors , 2 OPAT nurses and specialist registrars in  infection.

The Trust has contracted the community side of the service from the independent

sector (currently Baxter at Home).

How does it work?


  • Patients identified by referring clinical team and referred to OPAT team
  • The patient is reviewed by nursing and medical staff of the OPAT team.
  • Decision made as to suitability for OPAT, type of OPAT, choice of antibiotic and antibiotic duration.
  • If  no PICC line is in place referring team to arrange insertion with venous access team.
  • If patient is going to self administer the OPAT nurse will arrange training and assessment.
  • The patient goes home after receiving their last inpatient dose of antibiotics.
  • The patient is still under the care of St George’s, on Stephen Elek Ward, a ‘virtual ward.’
  • The following morning, Baxter deliver antibiotic stocks, and a fridge for storage
  • Each day, a nurse from Baxter visits the patient to administer the antibiotics if not self administering.
  • Patients remain under the joint care of the referring team and the OPAT consultants
  • Patients will be monitored and reviewed by the OPAT team once weekly (typically), in addition to whatever review is appropriate by the referring team
  • Should complications arise: if these relate specifically to antibiotic administration or line care they will be dealt with by Infection. If they relate to the original medical/surgical problem they will be dealt with by the referring team, including, if necessary, readmission of the patient
  • Once patients discharged by OPAT they return to the care of the referring team.