GS1 UK forms Healthcare Advisory Board to drive adoption of life-saving standards within the NHS

Expert panel will to help improve patient safety, reduce regulatory non-compliance, and realise valuable cost savings from procurement efficiencies across the NHS

Senior medical leaders met last month to form a new Healthcare Advisory Board to improve patient safety, reduce regulatory non-compliance, and realise valuable cost savings from procurement efficiencies across the NHS.

Formed by GS1 UK, the panel will help to enhance NHS services through the adoption and implementation of barcoding standards.

The launch follows the publication of the Department of Health’s eProcurement Strategy, which mandated GS1 barcoding standards for use in the NHS.

Now the Department of Health has asked that trust chief executives nominate a GS1 lead to drive adoption through board-approved implementation plans within a tight timescale.

The widespread use of GS1 barcoding standards in the NHS can save thousands of lives through improved patient care and millions of pounds through procurement efficiencies

The Healthcare Advisory Board, which has committed to meet for at least two years, will support this adoption drive.

The panel will be chaired by Professor Duncan Eaton, chairman of Kimal Holdings, director of Policy Connect, and executive advisor to the Associate Parliamentary Health Group. Members include representatives from Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, the Association of British Healthcare Industries, NHS Supply Chain, the British Healthcare Trades Association, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, NHS England, the General Medical Council, the Department of Health, and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Glen Hodgson, head of healthcare at GS1 UK, said: “The widespread use of GS1 barcoding standards in the NHS can save thousands of lives through improved patient care and millions of pounds through procurement efficiencies.

"The Healthcare Advisory Board, made up of key decision-makers and influencers within the NHS, will help us in the drive for the adoption and realisation of the benefits of GS1 standards in healthcare."

The Healthcare Advisory Board, made up of key decision-makers and influencers within the NHS, will help us in the drive for the adoption and realisation of the benefits of GS1 standards in healthcare

GS1 barcoding standards enable the unique identification of every person, product and place within the NHS. Recognising the need for more senior people within the NHS to support the adoption of these standards, a key insight to come out of the first advisory board meeting was the need for the clear and more-widespread communication around the benefits of these standards – particularly around how they will significantly improve the quality and safety of patient care and how they support and add value to each trust’s individual strategy plan.

Gary Lynch, chief executive of GS1 UK, said: “GS1 standards are now mandated by the Department of Health for use in the NHS and are integral to the Personalised Health and Care 2020 strategy. We are working closely with the Department of Health and NHS England to engage and support trusts with the sustainable implementation of GS1 standards – with the full support of the Healthcare Advisory Board.”

The next meeting of the board will be held on 24 June.

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