A study highlights the role of sterile packs in improving compliance

Compliance before and after pack introduction

At the recent annual conference of NIVAS (National Infusion and Vascular Access Society), Paul Lee, Medical Devices Training Manager, ABM University Health Board, presented how the introduction of sterile packs greatly improved compliance with best practice guidelines.

To address concerns that the safe and effective insertion and management of IV cannula remains an issue for some NHS hospitals, Paul helped conduct an observational audit in a large A&E department. This monitored the effect of introducing a standard pack for peripheral IV cannula insertion together with a new record form.

Fifty cannula insertions were observed against a checklist covering Hand washing, Skin prep, Tourniquet, Sterile field, Flushing, Needle-free device, Dressing and Documentation. The peripheral IV cannulation pack was introduced and a further fifty insertions observed.

Prior to the introduction of packs, compliance was low and in each insertion no sterile tray was used (- a clean cardboard tray was selected), no underarm drape was used and all flushes were drawn up using a needle and saline ampoule. A needle-free extension set was only used in half of the insertions.

When the packs were introduced, compliance was significantly improved. A sterile field was assured in each case, the pre-filled ‘flush’ syringe was utilized to reduce the need to draw up saline and the exposure to sharp needless, a disposable tourniquet was used correctly, a needle free device was used on each occasion and the documentation was improved with the cannula monitoring form supplied in each pack. An additional improvement concerned hand washing and the wearing of gloves. Compliance rose from 40% to 90% once packs were introduced, even though gloves were not supplied in the pack.

On the findings of the study, Paul commented, “Having all the right products to hand can greatly improve compliance to practice and the development of an IV cannula insertion pack has proved effective in ABM Health Board. The development of a pack of standard components, as well as correct utilization, is a cost effective way to help address outstanding issues for all healthcare providers. Packs should be considered in risk plans and IV development programmes.”

Rocialle worked with Paul to develop a cannula insertion pack and it’s now available on the All Wales Shared Services Framework (PA3971). Similar packs can be purchased through NHS Supply Chain or directly from Rocialle.


Rocialle, with wide ranges of medical packs and single use surgical instruments, packed and sterilised at its facilities in the UK, is helping healthcare providers to control infection and drive down the cost of high quality medical products. In Acute care, Rocialle serves almost every National Health Service Trust in the UK. Rocialle is part of Berendsen Plc, a FTSE250 company and a European textile service business with leading positions in most of the countries in which it operates. Berendsen has 15,000 employees across 15 countries throughout Europe. Rocialle employs 300 people at its Mountain Ash site, close to Cardiff.

For more information: Mark Birchmore, Marketing Manager, Rocialle.


Rocialle, Cwm Cynon Business Park, Mountain Ash, Rhondda Cynon Taff, CF45 4ER, UK.