Six NHS hospital trusts have been named as demonstrator sites for the use of GS1 barcoding standards and will share £12 million in funding from the Department of Health.
Each will received support and funding to act as demonstrator sites of excellence for the use of GS1 and Pan European Public Procurement On-Line standards for coding supplies into the NHS.
The government hopes this will accelerate the implementation of electronic procurement systems that will help deliver up to £800 million in efficiency savings.
The demonstrator sites are; Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust; North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust; Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust; Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust; and Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.
Implementation of the standards begins at the trusts this month and the £12 million in funding will be released in four phases over the next two years.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said earlier this month that the trial: “will see every product given a barcode, from medical items such as pacemakers to day-to-day items such as stationery, which will mean supply chains for hospitals are made simpler, reducing the estimated £150m the NHS wastes each year on products which have been either oversupplied or perished."
The government published an e-procurement strategy in 2014, which set out a range of measures to enable transparency and efficiency in NHS procurement to help support patient safety.
The strategy includes a mandate that means any service or product procured by an acute trust in England must be compliant with GS1 standards.
The aim of the six pilots is to demonstrate efficiencies and cost savings, reduced errors and improved patient outcomes and patient safety from using the standards.
The six sites will demonstrate their use for; inventory management; improving patient safety through surgical instrument tracking; inventory management; medical equipment management; product safety recall; and purchase to pay.
Tony Whitfield, finance director at the Leeds trust involved in scheme said his organisation is fully committed to the implementation of GS1 and PEPPOL standards in order to further drive patient safety and increase efficiency.
“Being selected offers us the chance to harness the potential of GS1 standards for patients and the taxpayer and support the trust in developing best practice for procurement,” he explained.
GS1 standards allow the globally unique identification of each person, product and place within the NHS and are system agnostic, allowing the exchange of this information between different care providers and systems.