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Duncan Eaton to be succeeded by Sara Ford as chair of GS1 UK’s healthcare advisory board

London, 27 November 2023 – Since its establishment in February 2015, Duncan Eaton has been the influential founding chair of GS1 UK’s healthcare advisory board.

Over the course of his highly successful nine-year tenure, Duncan has provided invaluable guidance and played a crucial role in shaping the use of GS1 standards in healthcare. 

Duncan is former CEO of the NHS Purchasing and Supply Authority (PASA) and past chair and president of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS). He currently serves as non-executive director of the NHS London Procurement Partnership (LPP) steering board as well as a trustee and supporter of the Health Care Supply Association (HCSA). 

With more than four decades of procurement experience, Duncan’s expertise and insights have enabled GS1 UK to develop and implement standards-based solutions for driving efficiencies and improving patient safety. As chair of the advisory board, his breadth of knowledge and work with senior influencers across healthcare have created numerous opportunities for collaboration and provided expert guidance and thought leadership. 

Under his leadership, the function and scope of the GS1 UK healthcare advisory board has expanded significantly. Originally focused on the NHS eProcurement Strategy, it now offers vital support to the GS1 UK healthcare team as they work with senior NHS stakeholders and clinicians to progress standards adoption across the four nations. 

This includes a number of large-scale initiatives that have driven significant improvements to operational efficiencies and patient safety, such as the pioneering Scan4Safety programme. 31 per cent of trusts in England have now adopted GS1 standards to scan at the point of care and national programmes are now being advanced across Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. 

Though Duncan will no longer be chair of the GS1 UK healthcare advisory board, he will continue to work closely with the organisation within his capacity at the HCSA.

Duncan is succeeded by Sara Ford, executive director for strategy, marketing and change at NHS Supply Chain. During her five years in this role, Sara worked has worked closely alongside the GS1 UK healthcare team and the Department of Health and Social Care to establish and promote Scan4Safety in England. 

Prior to her role in NHS Supply Chain, Sara spent 20+ years at Accenture supporting clients across private and public sectors to improve their supply chain and commercial operations. As a managing director within Accenture, she established and ran the UK & Ireland healthcare consultancy business focused on supporting NHS acute trusts. 

With her extensive supply chain and logistics knowledge Sara’s contributions to the GS1 UK healthcare advisory board will be indispensable, bringing a fresh perspective to the role as GS1 UK embarks on the next chapter of Scan4Safety implementation. 

Head of healthcare for GS1 UK, Glen Hodgson stated: “We are extremely grateful to Duncan for his unwavering support over the years. He has been instrumental in many of the changes GS1 UK has affected over the years – particularly in helping to bridge the gap between procurement and clinical teams.

“As we continue to expand our reach, broadening our engagement across the UK, we look forward to working with Sara to help continue this momentum. NHS Supply Chain has long been a valued collaborator with GS1 UK and we look forward to continuing this relationship for the foreseeable.” 

GS1 UK chair, Chris Tyas OBE added: “Duncan’s involvement with GS1 UK started some 20 years ago when he first joined as a member of the GS1 UK supervisory board. We sincerely thank Duncan for his undeniable dedication and wish him all the best. 

“We welcome Sara as the new chair of the healthcare advisory board as our work in healthcare continues to evolve.”


Notes to editors

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About GS1 UK

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