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.

Read the latest update (August 2022) on progress and developments in OPAT from the SAPG OPAT group and Scottish Government OPAT clinical network, including data on national clinical activity.  

OPAT August 2022 update

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 for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy Good Practice Recommendations.



The following Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group agreed OPAT key performance indicators (KPIs) are based on the 2019 British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy OPAT Good Practice Recommendations. These KPIs aim to support optimum care for patients in Scotland accessing OPAT services.

OPAT key performance indicators


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


In an interview published in The Herald newspaper, Dr Andrew Seaton, SAPG Chair, HIS highlights the immense pressures hospitals have been under due to the COVID-19 pandemic and how providing OPAT has successfully avoided over 12,000 overnight stays in hospitals over the last nine months.

Read the full article here

Scottish Television interviewed Kenny about his experience as a patient receiving OPAT. Kenny was initially advised that he would spend 2-3 months in hospital; however, due to OPAT he was able to remain at home instead for around 7-8 weeks, a benefit that he described as “huge”.  Dr Andrew Seaton, SAPG Chair, HIS and Liz Collinson, Lead OPAT Nurse Specialist, were also interviewed.

See full interview here