About us

New nurse-led PICC and Midline service

14 November 2018

The Trust is supporting the development of a new nurse-led peripheral inserted central catheter (PICC) and Midline service is set to be implemented at the hospital in the spring of next year, which will help improve the quality of life for patients who need prolonged intravenous access.

The Trust is supporting the development of a new nurse-led peripheral inserted central catheter (PICC) and Midline service which is set to be implemented at the hospital in the spring of next year, which will help improve the quality of life for patients who need prolonged intravenous access.

PICC and Midlines are short to mid-term catheters which are inserted into a peripheral vein of the upper arm and are used when patients require prolonged intravenous access, such as those having chemotherapy, long term antibiotics or intravenous nutrition.

Leading the initiative are registered nurses, Sharon Wallace and Helen Bayly. Sharon said: "In many cases patients with PICC or Midlines inserted can be discharged from hospital to continue their treatment in their own home under the care of district nurses".

Helen added: "As these lines can remain in situ for long periods of time it will save patients from having to endure a short term cannula being inserted every few days."

Line insertions have to be undertaken as a sterile procedure, so the nurses will wear surgical theatre gowns and gloves. They'll use ultrasound to locate a suitable vein and an electrocardiogram (ECG) placement tool to confirm the correct position.

Traditionally these specialist lines have been inserted by a doctor or surgeon but with the development of new technology, nurses who undergo appropriate training can now undertake these procedures as well.

Sharon and Helen are also working alongside Mr Andras Gal, a surgeon working in the orthopaedic department and an accredited PICC instructor, who has a special interest in this area of vascular access, along with several years' experience.

An established PICC team is already in place at Mid Essex Hospital and a similar service is also being implemented at Basildon, with all three trusts working closely together to help improve patient flow as well as reduce the workload for staff. A further update will follow in the new year.