RCN Standards for Infusion Therapy 2016

The Royal College of Nursing in the UK have just published the 2016 RCN Standards for Infusion Therapy.

This document has been developed to support the care of adult patients undergoing infusion therapies, with particular focus on patient safety and quality.

The document includes recommendations for site selection and placement for peripheral devices with reference to the UK Vessel Health and Preservation Framework (Hallam et al, 2016).

In particular, the following recommendations are made:

  • Initial assessment should include whether or not infusion therapy is required and have other routes been considered and excluded.
  • If infusion therapy is required, site and device selection for vascular access should then include assessment of the patient’s condition, age and diagnosis; vascular condition; infusion device history; and the type and duration of the therapy as well as the potential complications associated with vascular access devices.
  • Site selection should involve assessment for previous venepuncture and subsequent damage to the vein. Aids to assist in cannulation including ultrasound and infrared imaging should be considered.
  • Use of an organisation-wide Vessel Health and Preservation Framework should be considered to support staff in assessing and selecting the best vascular access device to meet each patient’s needs and preserve patent blood vessels.


UKVHP Vessel assessment table - recommendations for vein location technology
Vessel Assessment Tool. Adapted from “Development of the UK Vessel Health and Preservation Framework: a multi-organisational Collaborative”, Hallam et al. 2016.


The IV-eye® infrared imaging device can help you and your facility to comply with these new standards and to assist in preserving your patient’s vessels during peripheral IV procedures. Please contact us for more information.

Click here to read the RCN Standards for Infusion Therapy in full.