I have been fortunate to secure a permanent role co-ordinating OPAT between the hospital and the community nursing teams. In the last six to twelve months we have improved our OPAT service greatly. Discharge times have been reduced and the process of discharge on the ward has been streamlined. We have introduced a weekly virtual ward round, run by myself, antimicrobial pharmacists and the community nursing teams. The overall management of patients has improved, blood results are reviewed, follow up appointments are arranged, patient progress is discussed and concerns are highlighted to the patients’ clinical team.
We are currently carrying out a pilot study using 24 hour antibiotic elastomeric pumps to treat OPAT patients at home. Patients prescribed piperacillin/tazobactam, flucloxacillin and benzylpencillin were historically not able to be discharged to the community due to the frequency of nursing visits required but these have been reduced to once a day with the pumps. Working with the community nursing team and Antimicrobial Stewardship Team we will continue to grow and develop our OPAT service, increase the numbers of patients that can be treated at home and ensure that they are on the best treatment for their infection.
Following the award ceremony we have been able to raise the profile of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Team in our trust and the utilisation of specialist pharmacy technicians in new roles. My role is both interesting and challenging and I love being part of a large multi-disciplinary team helping patients and protecting the use of antibiotics.