A NEW medical space dedicated to Outpatient Antibiotic Therapy (OPAT) services has opened at Raigmore Hospital.
NHS Highland said the new space will allow patients to be seen directly from the community, undergo assessments and decide on treatment plans without disruption or delay.
He added that the facility will make care more efficient as patients who have been on the wards can be discharged and checked in the new clinic.
Andrew Wilson, OPAT Nurse Practitioner, said: “Previously patients who required treatment were seen in a non-dedicated, shared area which meant we had to work around the availability of other services which was not always fast.
“Opening this new dedicated area allows for a more coordinated and streamlined process. We can see patients faster and get them home sooner.”
Finding a space dedicated to the OPAT service has been the team’s ambition for several years. The process began earlier this year after NHS Highland Estates Engineer Colin McEwen encouraged the OPAT team to apply for funding after experimenting with using the service itself last year . He said he realized the benefits OPAT brings to NHS Highland.
Colin said: “I had an infection on my hand and was referred to OPAT, who saw me two or three times a week over the next few months, regularly arranging short-notice access to the IRM and a variety of specialist consultants – all of whom were very impressive and demonstrated a unique and caring service, which not only reduced the pressure on inpatient beds, but was clearly very focused on patient well-being .
After his experiences with OPAT, Colin spoke with Estates and Capital Planning Manager Eric Green, who encouraged Andrew Wilson and Clinical Nurse Specialist Fiona Elder to seek funding for the space that he had suggested as a location.
The clinic opens just in time for Andrew and Fiona to retire.
Colin said, “I hope Andrew and Fiona, the two main characters in this development, are happy knowing that their OPAT legacy has a permanent home.”