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NHS England and GS1 UK renew partnership to transform the future of care

London, 09 May 2024 - Fifty per cent of NHS trusts in England are now using GS1 standards to enhance patient safety and improve efficiencies. NHS England and GS1 UK have committed to continuing their partnership to extend these benefits across all trusts, saving lives, time and money. 

The renewal of this long-term partnership will build on the collaboration that has seen many trusts adopt open standards to uniquely identify every person, product and place. 

By enabling healthcare providers to monitor the movement of patients, devices and medicines with greater ease and accuracy than ever before, vital resources are available wherever they are needed most and with visibility of who did what to whom, when, where and with what. 

As demonstrated by the Department of Health and Social Care’s Scan4Safety programme, GS1 standards have saved thousands of lives, released hundreds of thousands of hours and unlocked millions of pounds back into clinical priorities. Both GS1 UK and NHS England are committed to taking this further by broadening the number of trusts utilising open standards and deepening clinical applications. 

Progress to date includes the roll out of NHS Supply Chain’s Inventory Management Systems (IMS) and point of care barcode scanning, Electronic Patient Records (EPR) and the Outcomes and Registries Programme: solutions that are delivering greater trust, certainty and safety benefits to clinicians and patients. 

Working with hospitals across England, GS1 UK will support the 50 per cent of trusts not currently benefiting from GS1 standards, drive wider adoption of Scan4Safety and use GS1 standards to support a range of key digital transformation initiatives such as enhanced supply chain management, data capture, closed loop medicines, the new hospital programme and more. 

To tackle rising waiting lists and alleviate some of the pressures currently facing their hospitals and staff, NHS England and GS1 UK will work together to embed open standards in the priority areas of patient flow management, live bed states and resource allocation. 

This collaboration will inform GS1 UK's work with NHS Scotland, NHS Wales and Health and Social Care Northern Ireland, ensuring that patients across the four nations have access to consistent, safe and quality care. 

Iain Walker, Industry engagement director at GS1 UK said: “Our collaboration with senior clinicians and stakeholders across the NHS has already enabled significant strides in the delivery of better, safer and more efficient patient care. This is only the beginning and, through a shared vision and commitment to creating a healthcare system that is set for the future, we will continue our mission to extend and maximise the benefits of standards adoption of across the healthcare industry."

Anne Godfrey, CEO of GS1 UK said: “As the pressures facing the NHS continue to grow, every penny, every resource and every moment of staff time needs to be maximised. Digital solutions for identifying and tracking every person, product and place, powered by GS1 standards, have the potential to revolutionise efficiency and safety across the NHS. We look forward to continuing this important work, helping our partners at NHS England make this a reality across the wider health service."


Notes to editors  

For further information or requests for interviews, contact Alex Cox: 07464 946 769; alexander.cox@gs1uk.org

About Scan4Safety 

The six demonstrator sites selected by the Department of Health and Social Care to demonstrate the benefits of GS1 and Peppol standards were Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust. 

Following the success of the programme in England, Scan4Safety has since been adopted by several NHS trusts in England. National Scan4Safety programmes have now been established in Scotland and Wales with Northern Ireland looking to implement point of care scanning via its transformational Encompass programme. Similar initiatives have also been developed in other countries including Norway, Japan and Ireland among others.

To find out more, visit: https://scan4safety.nhs.uk/ 

About GS1 UK

Whether online, in store or in a hospital, the common language of GS1 global standards is helping our community of more than 60,000 organisations across the UK to uniquely identify, describe and track anything, creating greater trust in data for everyone. From product barcodes to patient wristbands, GS1 standards have been transforming the way we work and live for 50 years. 

We are now embarking on the next 50 years of industry transformation delivered through QR codes powered by GS1. GS1 UK is one of 116 neutral and independent GS1 organisations operating worldwide. 

To find out more about GS1 standards in healthcare, visit: https://www.gs1uk.org/industries/healthcare