As the Scan4Safety programme continues apace at the six demonstrator sites, reports of the resulting patient safety and efficiency benefits have also been gaining momentum.

With an announcement anticipated on the extension of Scan4Safety funding to 25 additional trusts (Carding, 2017), we take a look at some of the recent results published, with a particular focus on procurement and supply chain aspects.

  • 100% traceability and £1.2m savings – Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust* (Salisbury FT)
    With Salisbury FT about to achieve full traceability of implantable devices, Scan4Safety programme manager, Rob Drag, has given an overview of the picture at the trust. In addition to managing product recalls efficiently, to better safeguard patients, the trust has also been able to drive supply chain efficiency. With a better understanding of inventory, expiring stock has been identified and wastage reduced. The trust also focused on supplier engagement, adopting ‘a collaborative and partnership approach to encourage early adoption, building long-lasting relationships with key suppliers’ (cited in Health Business, 2018). The trust’s activities have generated savings of £1.2m.
  • Inventory management releases clinicians’ time – Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT)
    RCHT is also transforming its inventory management processes. The trust recently announcing the go-live of a new inventory management system in cardiac catheter laboratories, which uses both GS1 barcodes and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags to record and track stock. The trust’s inventory management programme has already reduced over-stocking in wards to the value of over £1 million, reduced year-on-year ordering of medical consumables and has released clinical time by moving responsibility for stock management to materials management teams (cited in Health Business, 2018).
  • Scan4Safety in action across the hospital – Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
    In a recent short film, staff from a range of disciplines, including procurement, pharmacy, estates and orthopaedic theatres, share their thoughts on how Scan4Safety has affected their day-to-day roles – describing benefits to patient care and inventory management – including improvements in traceability, reductions in out of date stock and robustness of reordering.
  • ‘Dramatic’ improvement in patient visibilityLeeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust*
    Chris Slater, Associate Director, Commercial & Procurement, at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, has been describing how the trust has brought extra benefits, outside of the original business case, by linking patient and location barcodes to its electronic patient record and patient administration system, giving ‘almost a real-time visibility of where the patients are’ (cited in Digital Health, 2018).

For further procurement-related insights, there are two presentation resources that might be of interest, both from the GS1 conference in November last year. First is a presentation on supply chain transformation by David Lawson from Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust*, Graham Medwell from Leeds THT and Rob Drag at Salisbury FT. Then a session on GS1 standards adoption in procurement and supply chain by Alan Hoskins and Jackie Pomroy from NHS South of England Procurement Services and Andy McMinn from Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust. Further case studies and resources can be found on the Scan4Safety website.

For our own service’s upcoming integration into the Scan4Safety programme – watch this space!

By Tom Ellis, Product Manager, IntelliCentrics

*IntelliCentrics helps Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust to manage their commercial visitors.

References and sources
Carding, N. (2017) Revealed: 25 trusts ‘likely’ to get funding for safety technology. Retrieved from
Drag. R (2018) Scan4Safety – Insight from a demonstrator site. Retrieved from
Health Business (2018) Releasing clinician’s time to patient care. Retrieved from
Hughes, O. (2018) Leeds credits ‘dramatic’ improvement in patient visibility to Scan4Safety. Retrieved from