St Mary’s Hospital, run by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in the UK, has freed up in-patient beds and reduced hospital stays by treating patients needing intravaneous antibiotics in their homes.

The hospital saved 7,394 in-patient bed days between September 2004 and April 2008 through its outpatient and home parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OHPAT) service, according to latest figures.

The OHPAT service treats patients with chronic conditions such as bone, vascular or prosthetic joint infections, who need intravenous antibiotics for six weeks or more.

The service also manages patients needing shorter courses of treatment, such as those suffering from chronic urinary tract infections.

A district nurse visits the patient’s home everyday and a hospital review is conducted once a week with an OHPAT clinical nurse specialist.

The service also reduces the risk of acquiring healthcare-associated infection and enhances patient satisfaction, the Trust said.