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GS1 UK partners with NHS Wales to deliver better patient outcomes

NHS Wales to join the drive for adoption of GS1 standards

London, 12 January 2021 – Standards organisation, GS1 UK, has announced the signing of a multi-year agreement with NHS Wales to drive the adoption of GS1 standards within healthcare settings across the UK.

NHS Wales becomes the third devolved nation – alongside England and Northern Ireland – to commit to the adoption of these standards to underpin traceability across healthcare.

The decision to do so has been driven by the objectives of the Welsh Government’s Plan for Health and Social Care – A Healthier Wales. The plan centres on harnessing existing resources and investing in new technology, to deliver better outcomes for their patient populations.

Evidence of such outcomes have already been seen across NHS trusts in England, in the publication of the Scan4Safety report in July 2020 – A scan of the benefits: the Scan4Safety evidence report. This partnership aims to deliver these same tangible benefits across the Welsh healthcare system.

The strategic Scan for Safety Wales Project Board, established to manage the rollout, will initially focus on developing a national inventory-management system to improve the traceability of healthcare products throughout the supply chain. 

Not only will this serve to provide greater control over stock and reduce the volume of system-wide waste, but it will also facilitate the rapid identification of defective products to transform the product-recall process – a crucial patient-safety benefit. 

Phase two of the work plan will begin in parallel, to expand the adoption of GS1 standards to encompass the unique identification of every person, every product, and every place across all NHS Wales organisations.

In a joint statement provided by the Scan for Safety Wales Project Board, co-chairs Dr Paul Buss, director of clinical strategy at Powys Teaching Health Board and Jonathan Irvine, director – NWSSP Procurement and Health Courier Services, said: “We are delighted by the commitment to adopt GS1 standards right across NHS Wales. This is a vital step – improving clinical safety for patients whilst simultaneously modernising our approach to the use and tracking of medical devices”.

Glen Hodgson, head of healthcare at GS1 UK, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with NHS Wales on their Scan for Safety project. By working together, we can support the project board to deliver enhanced patient safety, reduce unwarranted clinical variation, and improve operational efficiencies across their entire healthcare system.

“Furthermore, because GS1 standards are both system and device agnostic, any data captured can be shared effortlessly between systems and organisations. This is the key to improving the patient care journey – enabling access to accurate patient information in real time, irrespective of where that care was received.”

To understand how GS1 standards are enabling the NHS to save thousands of lives and millions of pounds every year, visit www.gs1uk.org/healthcare and to access the Scan4Safety evidence report, visit https://healthcare.gs1uk.org/scan4safety.  

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Notes to editors

For more information or requests for interviews, please contact gs1UK@instinctif.com

About GS1 UK

GS1 UK is just one of 115 neutral and independent GS1 organisations operating worldwide. From product barcodes to patient wristbands, GS1 standards have been transforming the way we work and live for more than 40 years.

Whether online, in store or in a hospital, the common language of GS1 global standards is helping our community of more than 47,000 organisations across Britain to uniquely identify, describe and track anything, creating greater trust in data for everyone.