NHS Supply Chain to improve its product information

GS1 UK, the independent global supply chain data standards and solutions organisation, has announced that NHS Supply Chain has signed up to the GS1 UK Data Pool to synchronise product data with its suppliers. 

Using Global Data Synchronisation (GDS), the organisation that manages the procurement and delivery of more than 620,000 products for NHS trusts, hospitals and other healthcare organisations aims to improve patient safety and customer service by offering its customers accurate and additional product information that will help them save money and reduce errors.

The first phase will be to implement GDS and use the GS1 UK Data Pool to exchange product information with key ready meals suppliers which include major national and local specialist providers.  As an independent GDS expert, GS1 UK will provide project management and support to ensure that the roll out runs smoothly and will communicate directly with the suppliers to assist them to synchronise their data with NHS Supply Chain.

Our aim for the initial GDS implementation is to meet the requirement for a nutritional database to support the promotion and sales of ready meals products across the NHS and at the same time improve patient safety with accurate nutritional and allergy information, says Paul White, IT Director at NHS Supply Chain.  By synchronising accurate and up-to-date product information with our suppliers we can provide customers with a high quality catalogue to identify, select and order products.

The initial implementation will be completed during 2009 when NHS Supply Chain will widen the scope of their GDS implementation to more categories which include medical and surgical products incorporating the orthopaedic range.

NHS Supply Chain has implemented GDS to achieve a consistent and standards based approach to receiving product information from its suppliers, improving its customer service and ensuring that NHS trusts save money and time which can be redirected back into patient care.  Suppliers using the GS1 UK Data Pool will also benefit from better product data management and quality which can be shared with other customers or recipients in the UK and globally.

NHS Supply Chains decision to implement GDS is of strategic importance to GS1 UK.  We believe that the exchange of nutritional and allergy product information using GS1 standards offers our members and the NHS significant benefits, ultimately improving patient safety, says Gary Lynch, Chief Executive at GS1 UK.  This project also demonstrates their dedication to compliance with the Department of Healths Coding for Success recommendations.

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