The Scan4Safety programme is focused on improving patient safety and care. The benefits include:

Patient safety – Obtaining an accurate positive patient ID ahead of any patient intervention. Counterfeit and falsified products and devices can be identified to prevent harm and reduce the risk of Never Events. 

Product recalls – Products can be easily traced, so in the event of a product recall, they can quickly be removed from circulation.  

Inventory management -Stock availability can be monitored in real time, eliminating the need for manual stocktaking, and allowing better use of clinical time by reducing administrative activities. 

Post-market surveillance – Items used on, or in, a patient, can be captured at the point of use and recorded directly in the patient record. Products and devices can be widely surveilled while on the market to monitor patient outcomes and adverse events. 

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Yes, the Scan4Safety demonstrator site programme successfully reached completion. The six demonstrator sites were:  

· Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (now University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS FT) 

· Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust 

· North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust  

· Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust  

· Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust  

· University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust  

And Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which independently took the decision to implement Scan4Safety.

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Yes, the Scan4Safety programme teams in England, Scotland, and Wales, along with colleagues in Northern Ireland, are all focused on improving patient safety through enhanced traceability of medical devices. The four nations are working in collaboration to ensure there is consistency in approach. 

No, currently no national funding is available but that may change in the future.  

However, NHS England has a centrally funded agreement with GS1 to accelerate the use of GS1 standards across NHS organisations. The partnership enables NHS trusts to use GS1 standards, starting with the patient wristband, and extending to Location Manager and consultancy.  Find Out more about GS1 standards in healthcare.

NHS Supply Chain is working on the Inventory Management Solution programme which will enable local system integrations and point of care scanning, which in turn will support and accelerate wider Scan4Safety adoption in the NHS trusts. Find out more about IMS programme.

Local implementations of Scan4Safety can enable capturing data related to Product, Place, Patient, Procedure, Staff and Equipment. 

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No, Scan4Safety is not currently mandatory however, the government’s 2023 mandate to NHS England has set out key objectives for enhancing the service’s use of technology including the adoption of point of care barcode scanning of high-risk medical devices and submission to the national, mandatory Medical Device Outcome Registry.  

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No, the GS1 standard is not mandatory, however it is the preferred standard for device identification within NHS UK. Also, implementors of Auto Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) standards must comply with the NHS Standards: 

DAPB0108: Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) 

DCB1077: AIDC for Patient Identification 

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Yes, the Scan4Safety programme supports compliance with the new Medical Device Regulations that came into effect from 1 July 2024. This UK legislation requires manufacturers to: 

· assign Unique Device Identifiers (UDI) codes to medical devices before they are placed on the market, 

· require reusable medical devices to bear a UDI carrier (for example, a barcode) that is permanent and readable after each process on the device itself, 

· include requirements for Basic UDI device identifiers (Basic UDI-DIs) to identify medical device models. 

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Have more questions?

Contact us: digital.clinicalsafety@nhs.net

or visit our Scan4Safety Forum