Senior NHS leaders are sharing their insights to better understand how best to implement the GS1 standards.

Board talk

Same page: boards must engage staff in quality improvement

Board talk

This article was part of the eProcurement channel, in association GS1. The channel is no longer being updated.

Led by GS1 UK, senior leaders within healthcare met for the first time in February to form a new Healthcare Advisory Board, chaired by Duncan Eaton.

The board’s aim is to improve patient safety, reduce regulatory non-compliance and realise valuable cost savings from procurement efficiencies across the NHS through the adoption and implementation of GS1 barcoding standards.

‘The widespread use of GS1 standards in the NHS can save thousands of lives’

Last year GS1 barcoding standards were mandated for use in the NHS by the Department of Health’s eProcurement strategy.

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

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

NHS influencers

Glen Hodgson, head of healthcare for GS1 UK, says: “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.”

GS1 standards enable the unique identification of every person, product and place within the NHS.

‘The board understands there’s a real need to share senior level insights’

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 board’s first meeting was the need for the clear and more widespread communication around the benefits of these standards – particularly, on 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.”

Lord Hunt said: “The Healthcare Advisory Board understands that there is a real need to share senior level insights on the true value of the implementation of GS1 standards within the NHS in order to realise our ultimate objectives – improve patient safety, reduce regulatory non-compliance and realise cost savings from procurement efficiencies.”

The next meeting will be held on 24 June.

The board’s members include:

  • Sir Ian Carruthers OBE, chair of Portsmouth Hospitals Trust
  • Professor Duncan Eaton, chair Kimal Holdings PLC, director policy connect and executive adviser to the Associate Parliamentary Health Group
  • Peter Ellingworth, chief executive, Association of British Healthcare Industries
  • Kathy Farndon, national data and informatics lead for 100k Genome Project, Implementation Unit, Medical Directorate
  • Nick Gerrard, chief executive, NHS Supply Chain
  • Ray Hodgkinson, director general, British Healthcare Trades Association
  • Lord Philip Hunt PC OBE, member of the House of Lords and deputy leader of the opposition
  • Sir Ron Kerr, chief executive, Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Foundation Trust
  • Claire Newton, chief financial officer, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children Foundation Trust
  • Dr Paul Rice, head of technology strategy, NHS England
  • Dr Keith Ridge CBE, chief pharmaceutical officer, Department of Health
  • Professor Terence Stephenson, chair, General Medical Council
  • Mandie Sunderland, chief nurse, Nottingham University Hospitals Trust
  • Simon Walsh, head of procurement and e-commerce, Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation Trust and chair, Health Care Supply Association
  • John Warrington, senior responsible officer, Department of Health
  • Gary Welch, procurement lead at Oxford University Hospitals and chair of the Shelford Procurement Group
  • John Wilkinson, director of devices at the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency
  • Chris Wood, chair of Burton Hospitals Foundation Trust