New ‘at home’ antibiotic service frees up hundreds of bed days at Ipswich Hospital

PUBLISHED: 15:21 03 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:21 03 May 2017

Ipswich Hospital is developing a temporary car park and helipad. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Ipswich Hospital is developing a temporary car park and helipad. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A new service at Ipswich Hospital which offers patients the chance to receive their intravenous antibiotic treatment in the comfort of their own homes has saved more than 1,750 bed days in the five months it has been running.

The Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (OPAT) service allows those who need a long course of treatment, for conditions such as infected joints or bones, the opportunity to return home rather than staying in hospital while they receive their medication.

With patients able to continue a normal life, beds that would normally be occupied have been freed up - with a reported 1,765 bed days saved since the scheme launched in November

The service works by fitting patients with a line and then visiting them at home to connect an infusion device which administers their antibiotics at a set rate.

The patient’s blood levels are monitored remotely to make sure they get the correct dose, preventing them from having to visit the hospital for monitoring.

Dr Lauren Hoare, consultant in acute medicine and clinical lead for the acute medicine unit, said: “We are really pleased that this service has made such a big difference and is further improving the care our patients receive while allowing them to return home more quickly.

“The service is ideal for patients who require a long course of antibiotics several times a day, but would otherwise not need to remain in hospital.

“Receiving treatment at home means that they can continue to live a normal life while also freeing up beds in the hospital for those who do need an admission.”

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