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In 2014, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) mandated that all NHS trusts in England must adopt GS1 standards and all their suppliers must become GS1 compliant. The deadline for compliance is 2019/20.

The announcement of the six Scan4Safety demonstrator sites by the DHSC in January 2016 showed its commitment to making this happen. Each trust received a share of £12m funding with the aim of demonstrating the benefits, as well as challenges, they encountered from implementing GS1 standards.

So far, the Scan4Safety programme has:

  • provided concrete evidence to back the DHSC’s business case that it would deliver an estimated £1bn in savings over seven years
  • delivered savings of £1.2m in 2016/17 at Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust with a forecasted cost reduction of £3m in 2017/18
  • release time back to patient care – equivalent to 16 band five nurses per trust, that’s 2,400 band 5 nurses across the NHS
  • reduced inventory averaging £1.5 million per trust, £216 million across the NHS
  • delivered ongoing operational efficiencies of £2.75 million per trust annually, that’s £424 million across the NHS

What does this mean in practice for the Trusts? In the eProcurement strategy, GS1 standards provide the foundation for three core enablers that will improve patient safety, reduce unwarranted clinical variation and drive operational efficiencies. These will link people, products and places in the healthcare system and will work across three primary use cases endorsed by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Where to start? 

Take a look at the core enablers and the use cases for details on how our standards can work in Trusts.

How we can help?