SusQI case study: Reducing Unnecessary Cannulation in the Emergency Department - Royal Devon and Exeter

Rachel McLean
Rachel McLean • 13 April 2018

SusQI project on Reducing Unnecessary Cannulation completed as part of The 2018 Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust Green Ward Competition.

Team members:

  • Cassie Worth - Emergency Medicine Consultant
  • Suzie Faulkner - Matron

Project Aim:

To reduce unnecessary cannulation in the emergency department (ED).


A reduction in 105 cannula and 97 Bionectors per week (66% reduction) was achieved.

Clinical and health benefits:

  • reducing pain and discomfort for no therapeutic benefit
  • reducing physical restriction: h
  • encouraging use of the oral route for fluids and medications
  • reducing risk of cannulae site infections

Environmental sustainability: 

161.52 kgCO2e saved per week. Of this saving; 56.7kgCO2e was due to reduction in use/procurement of cannula, 103.13kgCO2e was attributed to reduced use/procurement of Bionector. Waste disposal of cannula contributed 1.41kgCO2e and of Bionectors contributed 0.27kgCO2e.

Projected across a year, this is a total saving of 8,399kgCO2e.

Social sustainability

A reduction in cannulae insertions led to a substantial amount of staff time gained as staff did not need to gather equipment, wash hands and insert the cannula. Using oral, rather than intravenous fluids and medications also potentially has time savings for staff.

Economic sustainability

Including purchasing and waste disposal, £535 is saved per week, equating to £27,830 over one year.

Further Information:

You can read more about the project by downloading the attached case study. You can read more at the Green Ward Competition | Centre for Sustainable Healthcare webpage.

This project has been replicated at Charing Cross Hospital.

Resource author(s)
Cassie Worth - Emergency Medicine Consultant
Resource publishing organisation(s) or journal
Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust
Resource publication date
April 2018

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