Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy (OPAT)

Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (OPAT) allows patients who are medically stable and whose only reason for inpatient stay is the requirement for Intravenous Antibiotics. This patient group can be safely and effectively treated in an outpatient setting. The administration of intravenous antibiotics is individually tailored, through assessment, in one of three ways:

  • Self-administration by patient or family member (after appropriate training)
  • Daily attendance at the London Road OPAT centre
  • Home visits by an OPAT community nurse.

The doctor prescribing the antimicrobial treatment for OPAT assumes clinical responsibility for the drug and the consequences of its use. Patients remain under the care of the acute Trust discharging consultant until their parenteral therapy is completed.

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Contact information

OPAT Nurse
Telephone: 07471 140 520

OPAT Pharmacist
Telephone: 07823 373 820

OPAT Pharmacy Technician
Telephone: 07823 373 909
Email: dhft.OPAT@nhs.net

Derby City SPA
Telephone: 01332 258 258 

Amber Valley SPA
Telephone: 01773 525 090

University Hospitals of Derby and Burton
Out of Hours you will need to contact the on call pharmacist via switchboard, and ask them to bleep Ext 6603

How to use our video consultation service

We offer a skype style service where we can arrange video consultations with patients where suitable.


My Elastomeric infuser is not deflating properly

Please reference the Infusor diagram. Sometimes there may be a kink in the line or air can be trapped preventing the balloon to deflate. There can be many reasons however if you notice it not deflating at the correct rate, please contact the OPAT team. Before changing, your elastomeric should be at a 6 or above.

View the infusor diagram (opens in new window) [pdf] >

I have run out of supplies to administer my therapy

Please phone OPAT Pharmacy Tech Monday to Friday during office hours. Please phone OPAT Nurse at weekends.  

My midline/PICC hurts, what should I do?

Please assess and follow directions of the central line phlebitis score chart. You should be checking your line every day for signs of redness, swelling or pain. Please contact the OPAT team if any signs noticed.

Download central line phlebitis score chart (opens in new window) [docx]

Why do I need IV antibiotics?

IV antibiotics are used to treat many types of bacterial infections. In some conditions, IV antibiotics are more effective than oral antibiotics at reducing the level of infection that has occurred.

The length of your treatment will be decided by your doctor and may alter depending on how you respond. The OPAT service will arrange with you how to deliver your antibiotics. This arrangement may occasionally need to be changed during the course of the treatment.

How will I be monitored?

Regular blood tests are needed to monitor your body’s response to the treatment. Blood samples will usually be taken by the specialist OPAT nurse. In some patients, the blood sample can be taken from your PICC or Midline. Blood tests may not be needed if it is a short course of treatment.

If self-administering medication, you will be required to attend a clinic in which the OPAT team can review your progress, take your blood tests and monitor your IV line. You should also receive a follow up from your medical or surgical team, usually at the outpatient clinic.

Who will review my blood results?

Every week, the OPAT pharmacist will review your blood results and monitor your progress. These will be discussed within a wider team on a weekly basis. Updates will be shared with yourself and your consultant and when blood results are satisfactory; intravenous treatment can be stopped.  

What communication should I expect?

OPAT team will call you weekly to check how you are feeling. We will keep you updated with any changes or bloods test requirements. In addition, you will have regular appointments with your consultant. Our team is always available to chat. Please do not hesitate and contact us.

What should I do if I feel unwell?

All medicines can have side effects; please refer to your specific antibiotic information leaflet supplied with your medication for possible side effects.                                        

If you experience any of the following symptoms please inform a member of the OPAT service as soon as possible.

  • High temperature – feeling hot/cold/ shaking
  • Dizziness, facial flushing or rash.
  • Sore throat, aching, headache, nausea or diarrhoea
  • PICC/Midline complications
  • Feeling generally unwell

In very rare cases severe reactions may occur. This may include:

  • Swollen throat/mouth
  • Swollen eyes, lips, hands or feet
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Feeling faint or collapse
  • Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting

If you experience a severe reaction please call 999.