Skip main navigation

£199.99 £139.99 for one year of Unlimited learning. Offer ends on 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply

Find out more

Who is needed for COPAT?

Who is needed for COPAT?

In an ideal situation, the core and essential members of a COPAT service are:

  • A doctor (preferably with considerable infection expertise)
  • An experienced nurse
  • A pharmacist (preferably with considerable antibiotic expertise)

Only one of the team needs to be a prescriber, although a prescribing pharmacist or nurse makes running the service easier.

It may be possible to run such a service with only two out of the above three professionals, but one of the team must be a trained prescriber and able to make advanced clinical decisions in the context of complex infections.

In fact, in Hull, until now we have mainly run the service without pharmacist input to our weekly MDT meetings, however, in such a situation it is vital that other members of the team have considerable pharmacological knowledge and experience and that liaison with pharmacy remains possible.

A single-handed service is not recommended from a clinical governance perspective, although it is acknowledged that in low- or middle-income countries the resources for such a service may not be available or that single-handed practice may be unavoidable. Arguably, the most important collective skills of the team are not knowledge or experience, however, but:

  • Enthusiasm

  • Understanding of the team’s limitations

  • Understanding of how to seek advice when needed

  • The ability to work and communicate well with each other and patients

Professionals allied to medicine such as physiotherapists, dietitians and podiatrists may be important in the ongoing management of some patients. In our own COPAT service, one of the medical consultants runs a busy weekly foot infection clinic with a podiatrist. Secretarial support to oversight, for example, discharge letters and clinic appointments, is also highly desirable, but not essential.

This article is from the free online

Intravenous to Oral Switch: Within Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (IVOST)

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education