Unified Test List (UTL)

Product Vision Statement

For producers and consumers of pathology and laboratory medicine diagnostics

Who need federated sharing of pathology requests and results within the health and care system

The Unified Test List (UTL) is a catalogue of SNOMED coded laboratory test descriptions to which numeric or text results can be assigned

That can be viewed, transmitted, received and stored across the healthcare estate as part of a standardised electronic message profile

Unlike the mix of (now frozen) Read coded results, local coding and incompletely adopted coded forms

This product provides a single, expandable interoperability standard for test and result coding, identifying test methodology and tightly defining the permitted result form and appropriate unit(s) of measurement.


We have identified the need for a single coded list to replace the primary care reporting standard PBCL (Pathology Bounded Code List) and meet hospital reporting needs across more specialised areas.

The Secretary of State vision document describes guiding principles that we should maintain to make this work and one of those is interoperability and openness. It’s not just about technology – agreeing and adhering to clinical data standards will give us much better and more granular detail with which to fight disease and prevent and treat illness.

Our technology infrastructure should allow systems to talk to each other safely and securely, using open standards for data and interoperability so people have confidence that their data is up to date and in the right place, and health and care professionals have access to the information they need to provide care.

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December 2021 Pathology BETA Preview Release 

In line with the NHS Digital Pathology and Diagnostics Product Roadmap we are pleased to announce a BETA preview release of revised content has now been published in human-readable form on our collaboration space. 

An overview presentation of the release is available to download here and the slides from the release feedback workshop can be downloaded here

 This release contains 4,220 SNOMED CT concepts: 

  • 3,866 reportable observable entities 
  • 354 requestable procedure codes 

Significant changes in this release: 

  • Replacement of the ‘Specimen’ SNOMED attribute with ‘inheres_in’ and ‘direct_site’ attributes for 3,417 reportable concepts   
  • Lists of terms in tab-separated (TSV) file format are no longer included in the review pack 

 Separately to this Beta release we are also publishing a number of draft concepts for review on the NHS Digital Kahootz collaboration site.   

  • ~50 draft candidate concepts representing the specialist discipline of Cellular Pathology: Cytology 

Please note these draft concepts have not been assigned SNOMED Concept IDs and are intended for the purpose of reviewing the term descriptions and modelling only: 

The Human readable release can be downloaded here and the Cellular Pathology draft candidate code list can be downloaded here

 Please use the links below to download the latest supporting documentation: 

UTL feedback

Join our UTL Discussion Forum

Provide general feedback and discuss topics relating to the Unified Test List with other members of the Pathology community.
To get involved in discussions, you will first need to request access by emailing pathologyanddiagnostics@nhs.net