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GS1 Company Prefix management

How to manage GS1 Company Prefixes within a Trust

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. Find out more information about what NHS trusts have to do.

The first step to achieving compliance is your GS1 Company Prefix. If you’re an NHS Acute Trust in England, you already have one – if you don’t know yours, contact our healthcare team.

What are GS1 Company Prefixes?

All GS1 identifiers start with a unique sequence of numbers, known as a GS1 Company Prefix. We allocate a unique prefix to each Trust. The use of the prefix ensures that all identifiers a Trust uses for identifying their people, products and places are unique and traceable back to the source.

It is essential that each Trust maintains control over who is entitled to use prefixes to create GS1 identifiers to ensure there is no duplication. Any duplication could cause errors in patient records, inadequate medical device maintenance or even cause patients to receive the wrong medication.

The control of GS1 identifiers can become complicated where Trusts merge or demerge. Which is why we’ve produced guidance on how a Trust should manage prefixes.

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.