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NHS Supply Chain to improve its product information with GS1 UK Data Pool

Wednesday 3 June 2009

First major UK healthcare supply chain operator to roll out Global Data Synchronisation

GS1 UK, the independent global supply chain data standards and solutions organisation, today 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 Chain’s 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 Health’s Coding for Success recommendations.”


For more information:

Fourth Day PR, Kirsty Sewter or Nikki Scrivener on 020 7403 4411 or at

NHS Supply Chain, Andrew Brentnall on 01773 724196 or at

GS1 UK, Suraya Adnan-Ariffin on 020 7092 3575 or at

About NHS Supply Chain

NHS Supply Chain is a 10-year contract operated by DHL Exel Supply Chain on behalf of the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA). Its aim is to provide over £1 billion of savings to the NHS so that resources are released for customers to focus on quality frontline patient care, manage costs and achieve sustainable value. NHS Supply Chain provides its services to over 600 NHS trusts and private healthcare providers and offers over 600,000 products. NHS Supply Chain can manage the entire tender process, including Official Journal of European Union processes, and act as single point of contact between trusts and suppliers.

  • procurement
  • supplier
  • logistics
  • Supply Chain consultancy services
  • patient services

All underpinned by world-class IT and ecommerce. The range of 600,000 in-scope products support the patient pathway: diagnosis, intervention and patient care:

  • theatres
  • nursing
  • food and facilities (including office equipment)
  • clinical markets
  • capital equipment

NHS Supply Chain HQ address: Cotes Park Industrial Estate, West Way, Alfreton, Derbyshire, DE55 4QJ
Phone: 01773 724000
Fax: 01773 724229

Based in Alfreton, Derbyshire, UK, the business employs around 2,400 staff in eight locations. For further information, visit

About GS1 UK

GS1 UK has driven innovation in the supply chain for over thirty years. It is part of the global GS1 organisation, dedicated to the development and implementation of global data standards and solutions for the supply chain. The GS1 System is the most widely used supply chain standards system in the world. GS1 UK helps industry to implement these data standards through the use of bar codes, RFID, Global Data Synchronisation (GDS) and electronic business messaging.

Delivering value to the NHS