Pathology and Diagnostics news

National Pathology and Diagnostics September 2019 Newsletter


Unified Test List (UTL) 

Since the last update we have refined our approach to developing the UTL, using the Trusts test lists that have been kindly provided, we have identified a pattern of information for blood sciences, aligned with information required for the Data Model and in this release cycle have been adding new content by category e.g. amino acids, sugars and ratios.  

We have also been focussing on other improvements in the background to increase the scale of output going forward.  

In addition to the human-readable version being available in October, we plan to publish a Pathology specific SNOMED version on TRUD alongside the main UK SNOMED CT Edition to enable access to the codes that you need and allow more frequent releases as required. 

We will provide further updates as these become available. Whilst it does not directly impact the UTL in development (if you are registered on TRUD, you will already have received the following update regarding the UK SNOMED CT Edition: 


Alignment with the International Edition of SNOMED CT 

The upcoming October integrated release of UK terminology for clinical and drugs (28.0.0), and all the four weekly drugs extension releases (28.x.0 series) through to March 2020, will remain aligned to the July 2018 release of the International Edition of SNOMED CT. We have taken this decision due to the volume of changes in the later International Editions which affect UK terminology content, particularly drugs, but do not have an immediate impact on the upcoming releases for dm+d. 

Organisations that have a dependency on the UK Edition of SNOMED CT for their digital products should assess any likely impact, as unintended clinically significant behaviour may occur if systems use differing releases of SNOMED CT.  

To aid your assessment, you can download the January and June 2019 International Editions of SNOMED CT from here

We are working towards incorporating the January 2019 International Edition into the UK integrated release for April 2020 (29.0.0), including all derivatives such as the Query and History Substitutions Tables, Cross-maps to ICD/OPCS and Read/CTV3 Data Migration Tables. We will also explore the potential to uplift the April 2020 integrated release to align with the July 2019 International Edition. 

Early in the new year we will confirm our position on the April 2020 integrated release, including a timetable for all UK terminology releases in 2020. 

If you need any additional information please contact  


Message Specification 

As previously notified in the June 2019 newsletter, NHS Digital has worked with INTEROPen and range of stakeholders to develop a set of draft HL7 FHIR STU3 profiles to support the electronic exchange of pathology test results. Three new FHIR profiles were developed (DiagnosticReport, ProcedureRequest and Specimen) and the existing Observation profile was updated. These and the other CareConnect profiles can be found here: 

Based on stakeholder feedback, the following two elements in the ProcedureRequest profile have also now been made available for use: 

  • CareConnect-ProcedureRequest-1.priority - the urgency of the test request 
  • CareConnect-ProcedureRequest-1.authoredOn - the date and time of the test request 

Further information can be found in the draft technical implementation guidance available here: 


Education & Training 

Following your feedback and the resulting Terminology Migration workshop in February 

We have recently published a section on Education & Training on our Pathology diagnostics collaborative workspace to signpost materials to support your transition to SNOMED CT including information for your use; 

  • Introduction to SNOMED 
  • Guidance documents 
  • Case studies on how SNOMED works 
  • Technical resources 
  • Animations 


We will be engaging with you shortly regarding your priorities regarding bespoke SNOMED in pathology training materials but if you have any feedback regarding this or any of our work please contact us at


Related Stakeholder News 

Again, you may already be aware that in June 2019, NHS England and NHS Improvement’s National Pathology Optimisation and Delivery board identified IT requirements for establishing and implementing the 29 Pathology Networks across England including the minimum set of standards to ensure interoperability as end to end systems are deployed.  

They wrote to all Trust CEO’s and Financial Directors to provide guidance stating “it is therefore mandatory that all systems purchased and deployed into the NHS going forward meet the following standards for requesting, reporting and communicating diagnostic test results:  

1) SNOMED CT (Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine -- Clinical Terms)  

2) FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) message standard.  

3) Open access of systems - No restrictions on connections and interfacing between clinical systems”. 

Created by Chris Hood 2 years ago
Last modified by Chris Hood 2 years ago