Leading patient safety expert, Ted Baker, joins GS1 UK healthcare advisory board

London, 13 February 2024 – Professor Ted Baker, chair of the Health Services Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB) and former chief inspector of hospitals, has been appointed to the GS1 UK healthcare advisory board

Professor Baker will offer vital support to the GS1 UK healthcare team as they work with senior NHS stakeholders and clinicians across the four nations to drive the adoption of GS1 standards. His experience overseeing HSSIB’s programme of investigations will provide invaluable insights and will inform GS1 UK’s approach to expanding the Scan4Safety (or point of care scanning) initiative to help health care providers overcome key safety challenges. 

With five decades of experience, Professor Baker brings a wealth of knowledge and a proven track record of leading major patient safety initiatives. 

After training as a paediatric cardiologist, Professor Baker joined the NHS in 1973. He has spent 35 years working in frontline clinical practice and has held numerous clinical and academic appointments, both in the UK and overseas. 

Professor Baker was medical director and later deputy chief executive of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust from 2010-14, and medical director at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust from 2003-10. While at Oxford, he chaired the first of the new Care Quality Commission (CQC) comprehensive hospital inspections in September 2013 and led his own trust through its CQC inspection in 2014. 

He joined the CQC in 2014 and in 2017 he was appointed as the commission’s chief inspector of hospitals, leading thematic reviews of how the NHS learns from safety events and overseeing the development of the CQC’s regulation of the hospitals sector during the covid-19 pandemic. This included the introduction of “intelligence-driven,” focused inspections for services such as urgent and emergency care. 

The GS1 UK healthcare advisory board is made up of invited senior representatives from central healthcare organisations, trade associations, healthcare providers and regulators. It brings together key thought-leaders and policy makers from across the health sector to find collaborative, data-driven solutions to the key topics and challenges impacting the UK’s health systems. 

Key focus areas for the board currently include improving patient safety, reducing regulatory non-compliance, and realising valuable cost savings from procurement efficiencies through the adoption of GS1 standards and point of care barcode scanning. 

This includes several 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. National programmes are now being advanced across Scotland and Wales, with Northern Ireland focusing on adopting GS1 standards for asset management. 

Commenting on his appointment, Professor Baker said: “Every day of my career in the NHS I saw dedicated, committed staff providing excellent care for patients. I also witnessed firsthand the vital importance of accurate, standardised data for improving clinical decision-making, traceability, and patient safety. 

"Initiatives such as Scan4Safety have already clearly demonstrated the power of data standards and it has been highly encouraging to see the progress that has been made since the programme was first launched. Collaboration and trusted data are the key to delivering better, safer care for all and I look forward to helping GS1 UK deliver these benefits to even more trusts, healthcare providers and patients.” 

Glen Hodgson, head of healthcare at GS1 UK added: “Every year NHS England reports more than 300 Never Events, many of which could be minimised using unique identification and point-of-care scanning to improve traceability. The appointment of Professor Baker will prove invaluable as we continue to expand our understanding of the patient safety challenges faced by healthcare providers and how GS1 standards adoption can support. 

"In these challenging times, the need to improve safety, efficiency and productivity is more important than ever. Professor Baker’s wealth of experience, globally recognised expertise and unrelenting commitment to patient safety will be an incredible asset to our organisation as we take the next steps in delivering these benefits to both the health service and public alike."


Notes to editors

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

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

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 58,000 organisations across the UK to uniquely identify, describe and track anything, creating greater trust in data for everyone.

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