Four nations reaffirm Scan4Safety message

Arm's length bodies from the four nations issue a joint industry letter to healthcare manufacturers and suppliers around Scan4Safety.


Scan4Safety adoption continues to grow

Following the 2016 demonstrator programme launched by the Department of Health and Social Care, Scan4Safety continues to gain momentum across the UK.

Since its inception, Scan4Safety has been adopted by several NHS trusts in England and national ‘Scan for Safety’ programmes have now been established in both Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland are establishing plans to implement point-of-care scanning via its transformational Encompass programme.


Commitment from the four nations

In a joint letter to ABHI, BAREMA, SDMA and AXREM members, the four nations state their commitment to their respective programmes and the widespread rollout of standards for unique identification. 

The letter is co-signed by leading professionals in healthcare on behalf of NHS England, NHS Scotland, NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership, and Health and Social Care Ireland.

Four nation logos

Why now?

Each programme has been introduced with the fundamental aim of improving patient safety through better traceability of medical devices and equipment using global standards such as GS1. 

A key focus for the programme is enabling the capture of standardised data relating to patient, product, place, procedure, staff, and equipment, through point-of-care scanning and digital data capture.

The importance for suppliers

A critical success factor for the various programmes stems from the ability to unique identify necessary products, medical devices, assets, and equipment accurately at the point of care. 


The GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) used for products and devices, is one such standard that is a widely used standard for unique identification as is the GS1 Global Individual Asset Identifier (GIAI) for assets and equipment.

Healthcare manufacturers and suppliers will be required to ensure the use of global standards to identify their items in order to support the full implementation of point-of-care scanning.

Find out more

Read the joint letter issued on behalf of NHS England, NHS Scotland,
NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership, and Health and Social Care Ireland.