Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy (OPAT)

OPAT services provide ambulatory or home care for selected patients with infection requiring either intravenous or complex oral antimicrobial therapy and include both admission avoidance and early supported discharge strategies for suitable patients.

As per the Scottish Health Technology Group assessment (2021) “NHS Scotland Boards should aim to offer a flexible OPAT service with multiple care pathways designed to meet individual patient needs within the context of local resources and geography”.

SHTG Recommendation


OPAT is part of a broader Scottish Government interface care initiative which aims to deliver safe care closer to home and reduce reliance on inpatient based care.

Scottish Government


OPAT should be practiced in line with national and local antimicrobial stewardship strategies and should adhere to  the British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy Good Practice Recommendations.



SAPG has developed an OPAT pathway for the management of adults with complicated skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) affecting their upper or lower limb(s) or face (erysipelas). This will support reduced hospital admissions and promote early discharge for patients with complicated skin and soft tissue infections.

OPAT SSTI pathway