A new technology standard for NHS patient identification has been approved by the NHS.

The Information Standards Board for Health and Social Care has mandated the Health and Social Care Standard 1077. This will mean that every patient in England will require a wristband that incorporates an approved barcode, designed to improve hospitals' ability to monitor, manage and identify in-patients.

The standard defines how to encode the NHS approved patient identifiers for identity bands into a two dimensional bar code, namely the GS1 Data Matrix Symbol. It covers production, verification and printing rules for the bar code.

Those using the standard will include designers, manufacturers, procurement staff and those involved with the deployment of systems in the NHS.

Hospital trusts have been told to ensure their systems comply with the 1077 standard by September next year.