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The use of GS1 standards make NHS product recalls much more effective

Date: August 03, 2015

Category: Industry news


In a significant milestone for the healthcare industry, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is now using Unique Device Identifiers based on GS1 standards in healthcare recalls. This improves traceability, efficiency and cost savings throughout the NHS and signifies the power of using a single method of coding and identification across the whole industry.

Using GS1 standards in an event of a healthcare recall, enables identifying every person, product and place, everywhere along the patient pathway, wherever they are in the healthcare supply chain, within hospitals or even out in the community with patients. This results in increased patient safety, regulatory compliance and operational efficiency.

Our standards are being widely adopted by Trusts in England in line with the NHS eProcurement strategy mandate, and the Personalised Health & Care 2020 framework, published last year.

In perhaps the first case ever, the Government recently informed the health services about a medical product recall using Unique Device Identifiers. This is a significant milestone for the healthcare industry and it sets the scene for how important patient safety information will be communicated in future.”

Andy Crosbie, Head of Biosciences and Implants at MHRA