Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (OPAT)

The OPAT service, based at QEUH, provides IV or complex oral antimicrobial therapy on an outpatient basis for suitable patients throughout Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Infections commonly managed via OPAT are shown below but any infection may be discussed and considered.

Skin and soft tissue infection

Includes: cellulitis / wound infections / bursitis / infected bites / facial erysipelas. May be referred from GP, emergency department, immediate assessment and acute admissions units or wards. Patient must usually be able to attend QEUH daily for treatment. Referral should be via TrakCare and also by telephone for same day assessment (see below for details). Outpatient management of skin and soft tissue infection may also be offered via ambulatory care on other hospital sites.

Other complex infections

Inpatient or outpatients should be referred via TrakCare. See below for referral process, and if same day assessment / discharge is required.  Complex infections typically managed by the OPAT service include:

  • Bone and joint infections including: osteomyelitis, discitis, diabetic foot infections and prosthetic joint infections
  • Complex or antibiotic resistant UTI
  • CNS infection including brain abscess and meningitis
  • Infective endocarditis
  • Intra-abdominal / pelvic collection / abscess
  • Necrotising otitis externa, skull base osteomyelitis
  • S. aureus bacteraemia
  • Vascular graft infection

Referrals are made via TrakCare as: New Request / Other / Sub-category: "OPAT". Blood results, current treatment (including co-medication) and weight are required. For same day assessment / discharge (including skin and soft tissue infection) also phone OPAT via medical day unit.

Following referral the OPAT team will assess suitability and a treatment plan will be recorded on "Notes" on clinical portal. Although patients are often referred for outpatient IV therapy, oral antimicrobial therapy with specific outpatient monitoring may be recommended. Patients should not be discharged until confirmation of the plan by the OPAT specialist nurse. If additional information / communication is required, email opat@ggc.scot.nhs.uk.


Guideline reviewed: June 2021

Page updated: June 2022