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GS1 Company Prefix

WWL’s GS1 Journey Begins - GS1 Company Prefix: 50552114

As part of the Trust’s journey towards GS1 compliance, we now have our own GS1 Company Prefix which uniquely identifies Wrightington, Wigan & Leigh NHS Foundation Trust across the globe.

This enables us to start using GS1 global identification standards within the healthcare environment and ensures that any identifiers allocated by the Trust will contain this unique prefix and be traceable back to us as the source.

What is GS1?

GS1 (Global Standards) are global data standards used for the identification, capture and sharing of information about people, places and things.

By embracing the kind of technologies already used in retail, the NHS will be able to dramatically improve efficiency and patient safety. Activities such as scanning medicines directly into the electronic patient record at the pharmacy, recording medical instruments used on and medical devices placed in a patient in an operation, locating equipment across a hospital quickly enough to save a life, will:-

  • Improve the quality of care
  • Reduce the cost of care delivery 
  • Enhance patient safety

GS1 coding enables the:

  • Identification of the true costs of procedures and patient pathways
  • Saving of clinical time by reducing manual recording and improving accuracy
  • Compliance with various legislative requirement such as the Falsified Medicines Directive
  • Enhancement of patient experience through delivery of quality improvements in patient care
  • Tracking and tracing of equipment location and usage
  • Reduction of money spent on unnecessary supplies
  • Improvement of stock control through efficient inventory management

Using GS1 Coding in a Healthcare Scenario

  • A patient is admitted and issued with a bar coded wristband and their medical record is electronically linked to this wristband (by NHS number)
  • Every time an item is used on a patient the patient’s wristband and the item’s barcode is scanned directly into the patient record providing full track and trace ability
  • Patient level costing, consultant level costing and procedure level costing can be easily identified through the recording of item usage directly into the patient record
  • The future vision is that each care-giver will also be able to scan themselves and the patient wristband at the point of care directly into the patient record, recording who provided the care, at what point and for how long


For more information about GS1 please contact Suzanne Collar on 01942 773249 or

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