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Identifying babies from birth

A lifetime of care starts with a GS1 number

Identifying babies

Identifying babies from birth is vital for delivering the best possible care, removing the risk of human error in the delicate first few hours and days.

There was a time when new-borns had to wait up to six weeks before receiving an NHS number. This created the challenge of having to manually confirm a baby’s identity for every medical treatment – then matching each baby to its test results. All increasing the potential for human error.

The NHS Numbers for Babies (NN4B) scheme now means that babies get their NHS numbers from birth. GS1 barcodes are used on blood spot cards to allow quick scanning and accurate identification of a baby. And this removes the risk of human error and improves healthcare – from day one.

The benefits

  • Improve patient safety
  • Instantly match test results
  • Enable detailed care quality monitoring
  • Facilitate neonatal research
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.

Identifying babies from birth

Interactive blood spot card

Read about and see the NHS's new born blood spot screening

CPE portal

The NHS Centre for Procurement Efficiency site