Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust (TSFT) was suffering from poor inventory management and struggled to comply with the latest NHS eProcurement strategy.
Additionally, poor data management meant that TSFT couldn’t be confident of stock location or levels of use.
These inefficiencies were having a direct effect on nurses’ time. With a catchment population of 544,000 across the whole of Somerset, this pressure led to a reduction in time to care for patients.
Following customer engagement and market research, TSFT outlined a solution that was GS1-compliant and could meet the complex needs of various hospital functions.
They then worked with suppliers and providers to introduce GS1 barcodes at the item level, across a range of inventory. This allowed for the management of data at every stage of a product being received, stored, and used.
The head and neck theatre department piloted the solution first. All stock in this area is now ordered, stored and managed using GS1 standards.
There have been several immediate benefits since introducing the new processes and GS1 barcoding. From a financial perspective, a £0.5 million stock adjustment was achieved and TSFT made a saving of £20,000 in expired stock.
Levels of overstock in storerooms and theatres have been reduced significantly; leading to less clutter in key work areas while making organisation and cleaning easier.
Products are scanned at point of use, meaning that ordering and replenishment happen automatically. This frees up the time of clinical staff, letting them focus more on patient needs.
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