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  • The benefits of a nursing led Vascular Access Service Team: A White Paper to outline a standardised structure and approach for the NHS to deliver vascular access services in every hospital (27 June 2022)

    Article information
    • UK
    • Reports and articles
    • Pre-existing
    • Original author
    • No
    • Andrew Barton
    • 27/06/22
    • Everyone


    The National Infusion and Vascular Access Society (NIVAS) is a multidisciplinary organisation made up of healthcare professionals with a special interest in vascular access and IV therapy. 

    This white paper by NIVAS lays out evidence that having a nursing-led vascular access team in every hospital in the UK will improve patient safety, reduce workload pressures for other staff, and save the NHS money. Vascular access involves the use of devices such as catheters to deliver or remove fluids, blood or medication from a patient’s bloodstream. The paper examines the arguments advocating for Vascular Access Services Team (VAST) across the NHS, acknowledging the current pressures of restarting the NHS following the pandemic and the roadmap to reduce the elective waiting lists. It also outlines how integrating a standardised model of VAST into the healthcare systems of the NHS will benefit patients, the new Integrated Care Systems (ICS) and the wider objectives of the NHS.



    The white paper makes the following recommendations:

    • NHS England to implement standardised vascular access provision across the whole NHS with ringfenced funding.
    • NHS England to conduct their own national survey to understand fully the vascular access provision within all Trusts. This survey needs to provide complete information on current practice and impact on patients, staff, the Trust, and the wider integrated care system (ICS).
    • NHS England to support NIVAS in creating a national standardised training programme for vascular access.
    • NHS England to support the creation of academically recognised professional qualifications for training in vascular access and establish a career pathway to include recognition of qualifications.
    • Vascular access to be recognised as an essential specialist discipline with agreed national key performance indicators.
    • Recording and reporting of all complications associated with vascular access to be mandatory.

    Access the full White Paper here

    Related hub content: Clinical radiology workforce census 2022 report (RCR, 8 June 2023)

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