Thanks to a new partnership link with the Western General Hospital, East Lothian residents can now receive OPAT treatment at the Community Hospital, Haddington.

Thanks to a new partnership link with the Western General Hospital, East Lothian residents are now able to receive outpatient antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) treatments closer to home at the East Lothian Community Hospital, Haddington as part of a trial to expand and enhance the service.  

OPAT offers a 7 day a week service, providing antimicrobial therapy for patients who are well enough to be managed at home. This includes intravenous medication and monitoring whilst on oral antibiotics.

Patients are referred for complex infections, where they may have to attend for many weeks and also patients with skin and soft tissue infection where referrals are taken from hospitals and from GP’s.

This service is a nurse led, nurse delivered service, with a weekly multidisciplinary meeting and virtual ward round with infection consultants and pharmacists where the management and care of patients is discussed, and treatment plans made.

Until the opening of ELCH-OPAT, patients could access the service from the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh or St John’s Hospital in Livingston.  Thanks to a newly established partnership link, East Lothian patients will now be able to receive their ongoing treatment much closer to home.

Discharged hospital patients who are currently housebound, can be referred directly from OPAT to East Lothian’s District Nursing teams who can support the patient in their own home. 

Fiona Wilson, Chief Officer of East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership comments, “We are delighted to be introducing OPAT services at the Community Hospital as part of our commitment to shifting the balance of care.   Making a daily trip to the Western General or St Johns can be an onerous task, and we are pleased to be able to help alleviate some of this burden, by offering patients this service closer to home.”

Katie McIntyre, Charge Nurse for OPAT adds, “Developing local partnership links to deliver OPAT services has made a massive difference to patients and their recovery.  Our nursing teams are seeing these patients daily, and while their treatment is complex, having local treatment centres enables patients to maintain more of their independence at home, whilst benefitting from infection expert-led care.

For further information on the services delivered at East Lothian Community Hospital go to Visiting East Lothian Community Hospital 

Published: Thursday, 5th October 2023