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GS1 UK forms Healthcare Advisory Board to drive the adoption of life-saving standards within the NHS

Led by GS1 UK, senior leaders within healthcare met last month to form a new Healthcare Advisory Board, chaired by Professor Duncan Eaton. The board’s aim is to improve patient safety, reduce regulatory non-compliance and realise valuable cost savings from procurement efficiencies across the NHS through the adoption and implementation of GS1 barcoding standards. 

Last year, GS1 barcoding standards were mandated for use in the NHS by the Department of Health’s eProcurement Strategy. Now the Department of Health has asked that Trust CEOs nominate a GS1 lead to drive adoption through board-approved implementation plans within a tight timescale. The Healthcare Advisory Board, which has committed to meet for at least two years, will support this adoption drive.

Glen Hodgson, Head of Healthcare at GS1 UK, commented: “The widespread use of GS1 barcoding standards in the NHS can save thousands of lives through improved patient care and millions of pounds through procurement efficiencies. The Healthcare Advisory Board, made up of key decision makers and influencers within the NHS, will help us in the drive for the adoption and realisation of the benefits of GS1 standards in healthcare". 

GS1 barcoding standards enable the unique identification of every person, product and place within the NHS. Recognising the need for more senior people within the NHS to support the adoption of these standards, a key insight to come out of the first Advisory Board meeting was the need for the clear and more widespread communication around the benefits of these standards – particularly on how they will significantly improve the quality and safety of patient care and how they support and add value to each Trust’s individual strategy plan.

Gary Lynch, Chief Executive of GS1 UK, said: “GS1 standards are now mandated by the Department of Health for use in the NHS and are integral to the Personalised Health and Care 2020 strategy. We are working closely with the Department of Health and NHS England to engage and support Trusts with the sustainable implementation of GS1 standards – with the full support of the Healthcare Advisory Board.”

Lord Philip Hunt said: “The Healthcare Advisory Board understands that there is a real need to share senior level insights on the true value of the implementation of GS1 standards within the NHS in order to realise our ultimate objectives – improve patient safety, reduce regulatory non-compliance and realise cost savings from procurement efficiencies.”

The next meeting will be held on June 24 2015.

* McKinsey: Strength in unity report – October 2012

Healthcare Advisory Board members

  • Sir Ian Carruthers OBE, Chair of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Professor Duncan Eaton, Chairman Kimal Holdings PLC, Director Policy Connect and Executive Advisor to the Associate Parliamentary Health Group
  • Peter Ellingworth, Chief Executive, Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI)
  • Kathy Farndon, National Data and Informatics Lead for 100k Genome Project, Implementation Unit, Medical Directorate
  • Nick Gerrard, Chief Executive, NHS Supply Chain
  • Ray Hodgkinson, Director General, British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA)
  • Rt Hon Lord Philip Hunt PC OBE, member of the House of Lords and Deputy Leader of the Opposition
  • Sir Ron Kerr, Chief Executive, Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
  • Claire Newton, Chief Financial Officer, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust (GOSH)
  • Dr Paul Rice, Head of Technology Strategy, NHS England
  • Dr Keith Ridge CBE, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, Department of Health
  • Professor Terence Stephenson, Chair, General Medical Council
  • Mandie Sunderland, Chief Nurse, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Simon Walsh, Head of Procurement and E-Commerce, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Chairman, Health Care Supply Association
  • John Warrington, SRO, Department of Health
  • Gary Welch, Procurement lead at Oxford University Hospitals and Chair of the Shelford Procurement Group
  • John Wilkinson, Director of Devices at the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency
  • Chris Wood, Chair of Burton Hospitals Foundation Trust