VeinTrain is in Tune with High Quality:Good Value Healthcare 

VeinTrain is all about offer the best quality training for the right price to the right person in the best way for success.  All healthcare requires suppliers to be focused on sustainable futures including cost consideration, even in the GCC where there is huge growth in this sector the future and sustainable cost models are at the forefront of any developments.  VeinTrain only offers high quality and standardised training this is our basic standard - Quality for all.    

VeinTrain Background

VeinTrain was founded in 2007 and is still led by Sarah Phillips MD who has extensive healthcare experience including abroad.  VeinTrain was built and developed to offer high quality, good value training, education, and standardisation to the healthcare market.  Sarah Phillips MD, an author and leader in this field also has an MA in Systems- Psychodynamics of Organisation and had worked at corporate level in Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust after an emergency nursing clinical career. Leading a  training project at Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust that raised the competency rate from 40% to 98% for these skills. She also set up and led the clincial skills lab and OSCE program for Imperial College Medical School.   Sarah even taught the CEO of the NHS how to put a cannula in.  These days she would have made him roll his sleeves up and take his watch off!!  He said Sarah gave him great confidence - and he seemed to enjoy seeing how the clinicians learn.   Understanding how to get clinicans to competent levels is as important as understanding all levels of the healthcare which has been key for VeinTrains growth as we took on larger contracts with high profile, high quality Trusts like Guy's and St Thomas' and NHS Direct. VeinTrain is about your whole system and your part in that in terms of the skills sets you offer, including these ones VeinTrain is passionate about improving.  

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Our Problem

When problems happen they can be severe as below.  Failure rates of cannulas are high and stories are common of  patients being exposed to over 30 Cannulas in a weekend.  These are commonly performed skills which means that practice can happen on the patient rather than on simulation and structured assessment.  We have assessment frameworks that are widely adopted in the UK to go a long way to preventing injuries.   We estimate that with 70000 users of our national programme improved outcomes are exceeding 14.5 million per year!  Our VeinTrain Vein low cost model means everyone can use a simulation device to master the control of the equipment.   We understand the current needs of the healthcare market for the organisation (NHS or otherwise, large or small, high quality or aspiring) to offer the best to the learner. 


Our Solution: 

sarah book                                      wholesetgrouponapp


Theory - Sarah Phillips is a published Author


Practical Application including simulation, remote/virtual support

and a competency programme, Co-led by Sarah Phillips

that allows the cliciant to transfer learning into the clinical area

Organisation considerations:  

  • "Intravenous cannula insertion will be carried out by trained and competent staff using strictly aseptic techniques" (DH, 2003).
  • 30-50% Failure Rate on Cannula
  • Hidden and high incidence of infection
  • £18,000 per infection, HAIs in UK last 3-10 days - £4,000 to £10000

    *Rickard et al 2012, Webster et al 2008, Bausone-Gazda et al2010, Martinez et al 2009  **Stuart et al 2013

Patient Considerations:

  • "Having a needle" was ranked as 6th most distressing during chemotherapy treatment. Coates et al (1983)
  • Repeated 1996 (Griffin, 1996) - Top 5 of side effects by women.
  • 17 Year research to practice gap!! We will give you the research in your programme


Our Solutions - Decades of Experience and Standardisation


VeinTrain is a team centred business,  utilising decades of varied experience, evidence-based practice and analysis to deliver what works best for learners.  We make learning easy, enjoyable and effective. Our coaching style ensures clinicians return to their workplace with added confidence and renewed enthusiasm to continue to improve their technique or gain competence using the national assessment tool.  Some of us have worked together for over 20 years and others join us as their career grows and allows them to share the best of what they know. Our team of carefully selected clinicians, each chosen for their specialist experience and knowledge. We have permanent trainers and contracted clinical experts and trainers currently practising within the NHS or Healthcare.  These include Senior Nurse Specialists, Doctors and Phlebotomists.  At VeinTrain we know clinicians want to provide the best care for their patients and we are proud to be part of making this happen by providing high quality affordable training and expertise across the UK.   Read our evaluations and look into our website to see how we integrate practice throughout the day!

The nationally adopted competency tool was co-written and led by our MD is in widespread use with 70,000 in use. We are the centre other training providers need to offer their courses to a standardised level of assessment.  VeinTrain focuses only on Veins!! it is our niche market so we can always offer the best, with VeinTrain learners knowledge-base assured and practice based on real expertise and experience. VeinTrain is proud to now share proven solutions beyond the UK. Offering the VeinTrainer tool and App, large event teaching and accredited programme licenses to ensure standardised quality and sustainability for all.

Our coaching style ensures clinicians return to their workplace with added confidence and renewed enthusiasm to continue to improve their technique or gain competence using the national assessment tool.  VeinTrain Ltd focuses only on Veins!! it is our niche market so we can always offer the best, with VeinTrain learners knowledge-base assured and practice based on real expertise and experience. VeinTrain is proud to now share proven solutions beyond the UK. Offering the VeinTraining methods through methods that are flexible to suit a variety of needs, including our global colleagues. The competency tool and the App, webinars large event teaching, accredited programme licenses, and organisational HALO accreditation allow us to continue to share VeinTrain knowledge and experience and the respected brand to offer standardised high quality and sustainability for all.  

Who, What and How do we Train - Trusted Training in an Important Field - The most commonly performed skills in healthcare!!

VeinTrain offers onsite and individual access to Venepuncture and Cannulation, Intravenous Therapy programmes.  Recent whole organisation bespoke training include highly evaluated Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and large (180) event days including King’s College Medical Students at Guy's Hospital and South Bank Nursing School at St Thomas' Hospital.   We bring VeinTrain to you via full study days, Train the Trainer courses,  practice lab workshops, APP videos, VeinTrain Vein,competency pathway post attendance, and bite sized webinars.  It is your choice all we want to do is share what we do!  


We were delighted that in 2011 Professor Lord Darzi OM PC, KBE, FMedSci, HonFREng wrote the forward in the book that Sarah Phillips, VeinTrain MD co-edited and authored the chapter on Education and Training.  Professor the Lord Darzi,  is a professional who has spent his life focused on quality leadership including a review and Government guidance while pioneering clinical developments such as key hole surgery.  He now works globally, continuing to focus on quality in a practical and real way.  He took time to review our work and commented positively in the forward which was good for the authors four years work, but also, more importantly a surgeon who has so much to do yet gives valuable time for these skills demonstrates how important it is to get these most commonly performed skilled correctly by the best person to do them.  

"NHS Staff make the difference where it matters most and we have an obligation to patients and the public to enable them to make the best use of their talents." (Darzi 2008a, p10)  

His recommendations include


  • Flexible - provision of education and training must be sufficiently flexible to give professional both the breadth and depth of expertise that they need to deliver high quality care to which they aspire
  • Focused on quality - high quality care requires the provision of high quality education and training.
  • Promoting life-long learning: Staff in all roles and settings need opportunities to continuously update the skills and techniques that are relevant to delivering high quality care through, for example, work-based learning. Darzi (2008b, p12)    Darzi, A.W. (2008a) High Quality Care For All: NHS Next Stage Review Final Report. DH, London  Darzi, A.W. (2008b) A High Quality Workforce.  NHS Next Stage Review. DH, London



Pictured here a happy patient at home with their cannula.

Competency Achievement

The VeinTrain method is about setting you up to achieve competency and eventually go beyond comptency to expert practice.  We want you to share what we have taught you and what you know.  You attend a course with VeinTrain, gain the attendance certificate, request the accreditation certificate if required (additional fee), use your competency booklet to ensure theory and practice integration and application in your area, then once complete you are competent.  Easy! 


What is meant by competency?

Sarah Phillips our MD has debated and considered competency in practice and in the board room for decades.  The work she has done reflects the things learnt and are shared in the documents provided and presenations and teaching on VeinTrain courses.

At VeinTrain we believe the NMC offers excellent guidance by describing how to identify competent practice. It is more than a certificate; it is a whole process that the course along with a completed Structured Learning Programme provides:

"A bringing together of general attributes - knowledge, skills and attitudes. Skill without knowledge, understanding and the appropriate attitude does not equate with competent practice." NMC, 2008 guidance for delegation P3

Competence can sometimes be seen across a room.  However, in these skills it can be measured more precisely thanks to the objective structured clinical examiniation (OSCE).  This takes away the subjectivity involved with assessment within a complex situation.  We do find that experienced clinicans are harder on themselves during the supervised self assessment.  At other times senior clinicians can be harsh with junior staff who are struggling with one aspect of the skill.  The OSCE helps keep things focussed on the skill performance, while the theory and professional questions demonstrate wider and deeper understanding.

Route to Competency

The programme has been developed by a group of healthcare professionals with an interest and expertise in venepuncture and cannulation. The aim of the programme is to provide a standardised approach towards training and assessment in order to encourage the use of these skills by well trained and appropriately placed members of the healthcare team. Additionally it should reduce the need for repeated training and assessments when practitioners move between healthcare organisations. NHS staff make the difference where it matters most and we have an obligation to patients and the public to enable them to make best use of their talents. Darzi (2008) High Quality Care For All: NHS Next Stage Review Final Report DoH. London. P 14

The pathway to competency is designed for multi-professional use and will provide learners with a structured, simple, but robust method of gaining competence and knowledge in venepuncture and/or cannulation, upon adult patients. Whilst the programme has been developed primarily for use within adult patient care, it can be adapted by healthcare organisations and specialities, to encompass competency achievement within specialised care areas, such as paediatrics and neonates. Once completed, the learner will have a solid foundation of knowledge and skills, with a record of their personal skill development, which can be recognised and therefore enable transfer of these skills across healthcare organisations.

The Authors of This Version:

Sarah Phillips (MD VeinTrain Ltd. Former Lead Nurse, Multi-Professional Practice Education Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London Dr Lisa Dougherty OBE (Nurse Consultant IV Therapy), The Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London Annie de Verteuil (Senior Clinical Skills Trainer), Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, Reading Mary Collins (Lecturer Practitioner), Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, St Mary's Hospital


How do I demonstrate competency?

You will practice throughout the study day on the simulation equipment as well as palpation on each other so at the end of the day you will be well prepared to return to your clinical area to practice under supervision with patients. You will take your Structured Learning Programme away with you and use it as a passport to practice. It will take you from novice to expert using a simple and clear process. Theoretical knowledge is documented and all supervised practices are recorded by any competent practitioner in your clinical area. Once you are ready, a practitioner competent in these skills will do a final assessment with you. Ultimately you will have a clear record of your learning that you can use to demonstrate competence and use the same document when refreshing your skills or moving organisations. 
The Structured Learning Programme has been adopted by over 40 NHS trusts and the whole of South Central SHA is a well recognized competency framework throughout the NHS. It was recently presented at NESC conference by Sarah Phillips who have adopted the booklet to help them improve practice in this field and encourage competency achievement. All learners who complete the booklet have their learning documented clearly including theory to practice. This method meets all the professional bodies' competency requirements. It also is learner focussed and considers organisational process. Most importantly it ensures the patient is safe from learning to competent and better still encourages a higher level of practice following competency achievement.

70000 booklets in use mean that you can take likely your document and transfer your skills.  The booklet is also OCN accredited as an optional extra you can have the certificate to demonstrate this academic accrediation. 

All our courses provide these booklets free of charge. 

Gaining competency after the study day

At Vein Train we recognise that to gain competency in these skills experience is vital so we ensure you not only leave the skills to practice safely with patients under supervision but we give you a Structured Learning Programme to help you on your way. You will also receive a certificate of attendance.   Certificates are easy to replicate but the evidence in the completed stuctured learning programme is clear about learning achieved and useful for revision.  All you need to do is ask your colleague to supervise you using the structured assessment process.  There is even a guide in there so they know what we expect them to assess.   As long as your manager/organisation is happy with the competency of your assessor that is sufficient.  We also offer Train the Trainer packages for those wishing to be confident in their knowledge and skill base before assessing and teaching others.  

If you take your booklet to a supervisor they are more likely to have seen it now there are over 70,000 in use.  This was the aim, to prevent skills stopping. A VeinTrain certificate of attendance is valuable too as our brand is known and Sarah Phillip's work is recognised in the field.

How long does it take to get competent?

The theory section of the booklet can be completed soon after the study in about an hour. This is followed by a series of supervisions with patients until ready for a final osce (Objective Structured Clinical Examination.) Typically these range between 10 and 30 supervisions but can easily be 50 if required. Some learners coming back to the skill after a few years away, moving trusts or transferring from a similar skill base from can be assessed after as little as one or two supervised practices. It is really up to each individual and determined mostly by the learner.

Whether it takes you 10 practices or a 100 is irrelevant what is important is that you achieve competency at a pace that suits you. In reality it tends to be more related to how you feel. In Sarah's extensive experience of helping hundreds of learners achieve competency using this tool 3 weeks and between 10 and 30. It really depends on how frequently you can access the veins in a time frame that is neither too short nor too spread out.  


Why do I need to demonstrate competency?

It is important to demonstrate your pathway to competency, not simply to have done a course and gained a certificate.  The people who teach you need to understand the research in a practical way so they can help you find the most relevant to your patient group but also remain curious to more research after your course.  We will teach you the core principles and proven reserach, much of the seminal papers are drawn from the book that VeinTrains MD Sarah wrote.  Updates with EPIC and Infection Prevention are also introduced to delegates.  We know it can take 17 years to get the research to the patient!  We help you speed this up and find ways to keep you focussed on precision based medicine, so taking the research, applying it and then thinking about sharing it with others (to help them with the gap).  VeinTrain does not seek to simply sell courses, it is seeking to change and improve the practice of these common skills.  

"Venepuncture and cannulation are two commonly practiced invasive procedures in the hospital and community setting that have remained unchanged despite technological developments of the past decades. These are not complex procedures, however there are a number of factors that contribute to correctly performing them, presented by the authors in this book. The wide variety of clinicians offering these skills to their patients is welcome and makes the most of the talent in the NHS, while offering patients choice and an efficient service. However, such diversity risks different types of practices evolving. It is therefore essential that a clear, concise yet informative text is available for clinicians to lead forward best practice in the most appropriate and informative way. "  Forward in Phillips et al (2011)

Professor Lord Darzi PC, KBE, FMedSci, HonFREng

Professor Darzi holds the Paul Hamlyn Chair of Surgery at Imperial College London where he is Head of Division of Surgery. He is inter- nationally respected for his innovative work in the advancement of minimal invasive surgery and the development and use of allied tech- nologies. Research led by Professor Darzi is directed towards achieving best surgical practice through both innovation in surgery and enhanc- ing the safety and quality of healthcare. 


REVALIDATION TOOL - The hours total 36 for both skills sets!

Why Choose VeinTrain Brand

Quality organisations choose us for their whole organisation training. We also offer individual access for organisations who want to sigh post staff to us offering discounts to the organsation over time.  Some of our clients have been with us for 10 years!  

There is little choice, this is all we do and we do it well.  All our Vein Trainers are talented at what they do and their enthusiasm is contagious!  VeinTrain is a team centred business,  utilising decades of experience, evidence-based practice and analysis to deliver what works best for learners.  We make learning easy, enjoyable and effective.  If you want to ensure you have the highest level of training and expertise then VeinTrain is your choice, like the first class organisation who choose us.  80% of our business is word of mouth!! See here our trainer of 38 years coaching on the arm.   

gsttsign       notthct

Some Feedback from our Guy's and St Thomas's NHS Foundation Trust project - 18 months.  


PJ Locums want to ensure all their Agency staff have quality training.  They use VeinTrain for all their staff, each achieving a competitive rate.  

Loughborough          Imperial                   



Venepuncture & Cannulation Book








“I welcome this book as the first publication on venepuncture and cannulation in the United Kingdom. The wide variety of clinicians offering these skills to their patients is welcome and makes the most of the talent in the NHS, while offering patients choice and an efficient service. The book provides a comprehensive yet concise overview of relevant information and assumes no specialist knowledge."

Professor Lord Darzi OM PC, KBE,FRS, FMedSci, HonFREng

in Phillips Sarah (MD VeinTrain) et al (2011) Venepuncture and Cannulation. Wiley:Blackwells. Oxford

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Competency Booklet - Used nationally for 10 years, now 70,000 in use (Sarah Phillips, MD VeinTrain)

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26th February 2018 IV Therapy, Nottingham

"Very impressed with the course tutor and learning material.  Pleased I have attended, felt like I have learned"

"I liked the small group and varied ways of teaching inc exam/practical/discussion/quiz etc."

Managing Director, RN, Paramedic Training Co., Summer 2016

I just wanted to thank you and especially Paulette for an excellent course yesterday in Nottingham. I must say Paulette was a very skilled, experienced and professional trainer with a soft but firm manner. She expertly guided the conversation to learning points that related to the different work streams of the group, using her experience in the clinical field to support the students in their individual learning goals. A big thank you for a professional day.

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