The Global Language of Business

GS1 Ireland visit to GS1 UK Hospital Adoption Groups

Oct 29, 2019, by Amanda Creane - Category: Healthcare Events

In the UK, GS1 standards have been mandated in order to supply products to the NHS. NHSx recently agreed a new five-year membership contract with GS1 UK, and, are heavily engaged with the implementation of GS1 Standards.

What originally started out as a supply chain initiative, has since become clinically focused, driven by the universal aims to improve patient safety, reduce unwarranted clinical variation and drive interoperablility across the sector.

As many hospitals in the UK are at different stages in their implementations, GS1 UK have set up regional groups which enable hospitals and trusts to share experiences, processes, challenges and benefits from the use of GS1 Identification keys across the NHS. 

We recently had the opportunity to travel to two of the GS1 UK Healthcare Adoption Group meetings to experience first-hand how hospitals are sharing within these networks. 

Dorset County Hospital, GS1 Southern Adoption Group

First, we visited Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester for the GS1 Southern Adoption Group. We shared our experiences- with a presentation on traceability and some of the programmes that are in place in Ireland such as:

· Instruments

· Special feeds at CHI Ireland at Temple Street

· Scanning in theatre


Siobhain Duggan, Director of Innovation and Healthcare at GS1 Ireland shares some of the use cases of GS1 Standards in Healthcare in Ireland.

Ciara and Louise of Dorset County Hospital shared their approach to implementing Scan4Safety across the Dorset Healthcare University Trust. They shared their timeline and approach to carrying out a readiness assessment and how they successfully engaging with key stakeholders such as other departments and staff.

We heard from each of the trusts in attendance on their progress implementing GS1 Standards by “product”, “person” and “place”, uses cases and shared issues and challenges that they are experiencing. The adoption level in the group is varied, so the newer hospitals can share their issues and learn from the experiences of the sites that are further along with their implementation with two of the Scan4Surgery demonstrator sites in attendance (Plymouth and Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trusts).

Plymouth Case Study in GS1 Global Healthcare Reference Book

Royal Cornwall Case Study in GS1 Global Healthcare Reference Book


Siobhain Duggan, Director of Innovation and Healthcare at GS1 Ireland (far left) with the GS1 Southern Adoption Group and Juliette New, Healthcare Engagement Manager at GS1 UK (centre).

We also learned of a very interesting case of “GS1 Standards in Action” at Plymouth Hospital, where“Hovis” the Therapy Dog now has his own barcode allowing us to track his patient interactions.  This automation of the audit of his work, will reduce the administrative burdens in the ICU team and will allow the hospital to track his clinical impact.  Source:


Source: Twitter @Hovistherapydog

Addenbrooke's Hospital (Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust), GS1 EOE Adoption Group

Next was to Addenbrooke's Hospital,Cambridge for the GS1 EOE Adoption Group.  This visit was again kindly facilitated by GS1 UK and also, the East of England NHS Collaborative Procurement Hub. 

We started the visit with a tour of the Theatre Kitting Room, where theatre kits are picked and packed for patients.  This has been done through the implementation of a process which allocates an individual theatre kit per patient based off 250 possible theatre kit combinations. For example they pick and pack an average of 20 cesearean section kits per day. This has led to many benefits such as less holding of unneeded stock. The tour also brought us to the theatre top up store, where they do a daily top up of consumable stocks to the 22 theatre rooms where through the scanning of goods to locations they have freed up clinical time that was previously spent on inventory related activities, so that can concentrate on patient care.

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) Case Study in GS1 Global Healthcare Reference Book


Siobhain Duggan with the East of England adoption group at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.

Like the GS1 Southern Adoption Group, the rest of the meeting continued with a presentation from Siobhain, and a roundtable update sharing achievements and plans, discussing any challenges encountered.

Food for thought

We were inspired by the network of knowledge sharing that has been created by these adoption groups. Many thanks to Juliette New at GS1 UK, Dorset County Hospital, Addenbrooke's Hospital and the East of England NHS Collaborative Procurement Hub for facilitating our visits.  

Are you interested in taking part in a GS1 Ireland Healthcare Standards Adoption Group?

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