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Local CCG invests in new antibiotic service for the community

A community-based intravenous (IV) antibiotics service for patients with breathing disorders which allows the administration of intravenous antibiotics safely at home has recently been implemented in the Vale of York.

In its quest to change the focus of care delivery and place the patient at the centre of care, NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has launched the Community IV service on a pilot basis across the local area.

Dr Andrew Phillips, Deputy Chief Clinical Officer at NHS Vale of York CCG, said: “We have spent the last 12 months in conversation with our community and we have learned about their priorities, wants and needs for a health and social care system. A number of interlocking themes emerged around patient centered care and more community based services.

“We have taken this knowledge and used it to produce a plan that can deliver services to meet the aspirations of the community from within the available resources.”

Once the respiratory consultant has identified a patient who may be suitable for home IV antibiotics, an initial consultation is carried out with a specialist nurse. At that point, based on individual confidence and ability, patients are given the option to have a nurse visit them at home to administer IVs, or for the patient to administer the IVs themselves with the appropriate training.

Dr Andrew Phillips added: “IV therapy is routine practice in UK hospitals, and the need for IV therapy is often a reason for hospital admission.

“Community-based IV services can be of significant benefit to both patients and the NHS. They can prevent hospital admissions and facilitate early discharge, improve patient safety by reducing the risk of infection and improve choice by enabling patients to stay in their homes.

“Our team approach ensures that IV antibiotics are given only if required and that treatment is carefully monitored to ensure safety and clinical excellence.”

Mrs Joyce Speck of Haxby, York, one of the 10 patients who have benefitted from the scheme so far, commented on her experience: “I was overjoyed by the new service as in the past I have been very reluctant to be admitted to hospital for IVs due to the inconvenience of being away from home for two weeks.

“I think that it is an excellent idea and appreciated being in the comfort of my own home which meant I could sleep better and be more relaxed. In fact, after the treatment, I had had one of the best night’s sleeps in a long time.”

It is anticipated that in the next few months this service will be extended to include managing patients with other conditions such as bone infections and cellulitis.

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