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Transformational change for NHS Acute Trusts

Date: December 07, 2016

Category: Industry news


Two Acute Trusts join Glen Hodgson, Head of Healthcare, at this year’s GS1 UK AGM to talk about the impact of GS1 standards in their hospitals

At our recent AGM, our Head of Healthcare, Glen Hodgson, was joined on stage by Jane Hawkes, Head of Procurement and Supplies at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and Andrew Raynes, IT Programme Director at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, to deliver some powerful messages about the impact GS1 standards are having in their hospitals. As an organisation, we know that being able to uniquely identify every person, product and place in the healthcare system can make a difference but we’re now seeing it happen in Trusts across England.

, Glen Hodgson, was joined on stage by Jane Hawkes, Head of Procurement and Supplies at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and Andrew Raynes, IT Programme Director at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

Scan4SafetyIt was just 12 months ago that we first discussed the Department of Health funding for six demonstrator sites for GS1 standards. In that time, it has become the Scan4Safety project and North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust was chosen as one of the Scan4Safety sites. Jane Hawkes is not only their Head of Procurement and Supplies but she’s also their Scan4Safety programme lead and she was really happy with the progress already being made.

They’re now in phase two of the project - they’ve done their fact-finding, they’ve got 175 clinical champions wanting to be involved and their Trust board is fully supportive. And now that they’re implementing GS1 standards they’ve already saved over 3,000 hours of clinical staff time, returning all that time to care. They’ve also made £200,000 of efficiency savings. It’s a project they’re really excited about.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust came at this from a difficult and different angle. Their GS1 implementation journey started with a CQC inspection in 2013 that put them in special measures and required them to improve their medical records management. What happened next was in Andrew Raynes' own words, “a transformational change for us.”

They knew they needed to improve their records management fast and a solution using RFID and barcode readers did exactly that. They no longer needed 19 full time staff to look for lost records across both their hospital sites and they were able to run more outpatient clinics as a result of the efficiencies they saw behind the scenes. In numbers what this meant was a planned £3.5m saving over three years, with 84% of this saving achieved in the first year of the project. It’s really transformed the way they’re working.

What’s great to see across both projects is the level of excitement the change brings, but also the greater collaboration that’s evolving. Barking have seen the need for their finance, clinical and IT departments to work more closely and North Tees have established a North East adoption ground – sharing best practice with other Trusts who are keen to move forward with their implementation, with or without government funding. They’re just two success stories out of a potential 154 – all Acute Trusts in England are now GS1 members. With a deadline of 2019/20 for compliance, we’re looking forward to hearing some more.

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