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Outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy service

This resource aims to provide patients and families with information about the OPAT service (Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy) at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

What is OPAT?

We are a small team of trained and experienced nurses, who can give antibiotics either inside your home or in the hospital. These antibiotics are administered either intravenously (into the vein), by mouth or by an injection into the muscle (IM). OPAT is a flexible and dynamic nursing service that allows patients and families to remain at home during treatment. The nurses will regularly assess your child’s condition and liaise with relevant professionals to make sure the highest level of care is achieved.

The team

The OPAT team consists of various professionals including: nurses, doctors, a pharmacist, microbiologists and a coordinator.

We do a ward round once a week helps to make sure all members of the team can communicate with each other. Often at the end of the antibiotic treatment, the doctors will want to review your child and make sure no further doses are required, this is often when blood results can be looked at and lines will be taken out. If blood samples are required throughout treatment, these can often be taken at home.

Do all children go on to OPAT?

The OPAT service is only suitable for children who are clinically fit to be discharged home and who live in the Sheffield area. However we are able to communicate with local community teams if this is appropriate. If you as a family feel that OPAT is not suitable for you, then you can continue your child’s care as an inpatient. To be eligible for OPAT you must have transport to be able to bring your child into hospital when necessary.

How does the service run?

Usual working hours

Monday to Sunday (including bank holidays)
10am to 8pm

The nurses will have a list of children that need visiting that day. The nurse will arrange an appointment time with you the day before, however sometimes the nurse may visit a little earlier or later than arranged. Occasionally due to unforeseeable circumstances such as bad weather or staffing levels, we will ask you to bring your child in for their treatment.

Please phone OPAT if you are no longer able to make your appointment time.

Things to consider

If your child’s IV access becomes red, swollen, painful or accidentally removed, speak to a member of the OPAT team. A nurse can assess the line and suggest appropriate action.

When at home, seek medical attention if your child develops any of the following symptoms:
  • rash
  • facial swelling
  • difficulty breathing

Safety and behaviour

Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation at Trust has a zero tolerance policy towards inappropriate, violent and aggressive behaviour. A risk assessment is completed for each patient and family to ensure our nurses are safe when working in the community. The OPAT team have the right to refuse treatment in the community if they feel their safety is compromised, this means that your child would have to come to hospital daily for the rest of their treatment.

Service improvement

At the end of treatment we would appreciate it if you could fill in a feedback questionnaire about your OPAT experience, this allows us to improve the quality of the care we provide.

Contact us

OPAT Nurses work between 10am and 8pm, 7 days a week and can be contacted on 0114 305 3592

If you need to contact someone outside of these hours please contact the hospital switchboard on 0114 271 7000 and ask for the Ward your child was discharged from or the medical registrar on call.

For emergencies call 111 or 999.

OPAT is the main hospital site on D Floor, on Ward 8, via the purple lifts.

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: OPT1

Resource Type: Article

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Western Bank
S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

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