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What NHS Trusts have to do

The Department of Health has mandated that every service and product procured by an NHS Acute Trust in England must be compliant with GS1 standards. The current deadline for compliance is 2019/20.

So, who are GS1?

GS1 sets standards for identifying, capturing and sharing information – about products, assets, services, people, locations and more. These standards make it possible for companies and healthcare providers to speak the same language, connect with each other and, more importantly in healthcare, deliver improved patient safety, regulatory compliance and operational efficiencies.

How will GS1 standards make a difference in my Trust?

GS1 standards can be applied to many areas across a Trust (we call these ’use cases’), ranging from patient identification and product recalls, through to medical records management and procurement.

Where do I start?

To help Trusts understand where to start, the Department of Health issued guidance on three ‘core enablers’ and three primary use cases. Each Trust must adopt GS1 standards in all of these areas, plus one additional use case.

Core enablers

These are enabling foundations that allow a Trust to use GS1 standards to identify every person, every product and every place.

Primary use cases

The three primary use cases are applications of GS1 standards across a Trust that will deliver real safety, compliance and efficiency savings.

Additional use cases

There are many additional applications where GS1 standards make a huge difference. In fact, these are just the tip of the iceberg – you can make efficiencies through adopting GS1 standards in nearly every area of healthcare. Don’t forget to check out case studies from Trusts already putting them into practice.

Help and support

If you have any questions, need some advice about implementing GS1 standards or want to find an accredited GS1 UK solution provider, we’re happy to help. Don’t forget to check out our case studies too. 

Contact us at or call 0808 172 8390.

Additional resources

GS1 Company prefix management

How to manage GS1 Company Prefixes within a Trust


The eProcurement strategy

How GS1 standards will deliver better patient care through efficiency and transparency

CPE portal

The NHS Centre for Procurement Efficiency site