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At GS1 UK, we see how our standards benefit organisations every day.
As Jackie Pomroy, Head of Supply Chain for the NHS South of England Procurement Services says: “GS1 standards help us achieve so much more.”
In 2014, the Department of Health stated that every product procured by an NHS Trust had to be identified using GS1 standards. Which was great news for Jackie – not to mention her staff and patients.
Jackie had been pushing for her suppliers to use GS1 standards since 2012, after discovering that multiple items shared the same barcode and product number. She recognised the need to create a unified system to manage all the Trust’s suppliers, equipment and medication.
The Trust’s suppliers are now increasingly using GS1 numbers and barcodes to identify their products. Which means Jackie and her colleagues have complete visibility of the inventory across the Trust. And that means medical staff are spending less time searching for items and more precious time with patients.
That visibility gives Jackie and her team a much tighter control over their stock. Knowing where everything is, in the correct quantities, has allowed Jackie to drastically reduce duplicate items. That reduction alone has saved Jackie 20% on surplus stock. And that’s money that can be redirected to giving patients more care and attention.
GS1 standards are helping to improve patient care in other ways, too. Every patient in the Trust can be identified by a barcoded wristband, using GS1 standards, which allows every medication and procedure to be tracked to each patient. That lets doctors accurately measure what’s working – and what’s not – for every single case they handle.
Tighter stock control, greater visibility and increased efficiency are priceless benefits to Jackie and her team. And as GS1 standards are adopted across the whole NHS, it’s estimated that they could help to save around £1 billion every year. That’s all thanks to the hidden benefits of GS1 standards – the amazing things that people like Jackie find between the lines.