Patients trained to administer antibiotics at home

home iconAn initiative to train patients to administer their own intravenous antibiotics is helping people in South Warwickshire to receive medical treatment at home.

The programme, known as outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT), has been successfully adopted by South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT). The OPAT team treat patients who need antibiotics to be delivered intravenously, meaning directly into the veins, but are stable and well enough not to be in hospital

A team made up of a mix of healthcare professionals meet up regularly to carry out thorough reviews, ensuring the safety of patients is maintained at all times. Specialist staff assess patients to determine their suitability for the therapy, using a colour coded system to identify what level of care each needs.

Lots of benefits are already being realised with patients being discharged more quickly or not admitted in the first place, meaning they can be at home instead of unnecessarily in hospital. This improves the experience of patients and reduces the risk of hospital acquired infections. In addition, treating people at home helps to free up beds for patients whose condition means they require a stay in hospital.

Dr Charles Ashton, SWFT Medical Director said: “The implementation of OPAT is a fantastic example of Trust staff finding ways to provide patients with treatment in the most suitable setting. Sometimes this is in hospital but in situations when it is safe to provide care in a patient’s home we strive to do this. This is because it is more convenient and comfortable to be at home with loved ones. In addition, for older patients, a hospital can be a disorientating change in environment where prolonged stays can lead to a reduction in muscle strength, increasing the risk of a fall."

Patient Ronald Hancock added: “Receiving treatment at home is great because not only is it more convenient for me but it also means a bed is available in hospital for someone that really needs it.”

 

Press release from South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust.

 

 

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