Terminology & Classifications News

Terminology and Classifications Delivery Service external newsletter: June 2021


Terminology and Classifications Delivery Service Newsletter

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Welcome to the June 2021 Newsletter. In this issue, we feature:

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OPCS-4.9 development

This is a reminder that, subject to approval by the Data Alliance Partnership Board, OPCS-4.10 will be scheduled for release to systems suppliers in October 2022, for NHS implementation on 1 April 2023.

Change requests to be considered for inclusion in the OPCS-4.10 release, must be submitted via the Request Submission Portal by 1 October 2021. Please submit your requests as early as possible, so that we can carry out the necessary research and engagement.

When you visit the Request Submission Portal, please take a moment to review the OPCS-4 requests that have already been submitted before submitting your own, in case your request is covered by an existing one.

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Normal’ training service resumed?

On 19 May 2021, the Clinical Classifications training team delivered the first face-to-face event since having to abandon the Train the Trainer Course as the first official lockdown was about to be announced in March 2020. The event was the Clinical Coding Auditor Programme (CCAP) Assessment Day – a real test of face-to-face contact, after all this time with 42 participants. It was a very surreal experience for everyone and the additional precautions put in place to ensure everyone’s safety on the day were considerable, including visiting the venue to assess safety precautions prior to the assessment day, having four smaller groups instead of three, quarantining assessment papers before and after the event, placing them in individual envelopes and assessment day packs for each candidate to minimise any contact on the day, directing candidates straight to their seats instead of the usual ‘meet and greet’ process, wearing masks (and gloves / hand sanitisers for the facilitators) all day which reduced the ability to have more relaxing conversations with people. Everyone did their utmost to maintain the 1-2m social distancing rules throughout the day. Even getting back on public transport was a renewed and daunting experience for some. You could say that a stressful day at the best of times was even more challenging for everyone. We would like to express our sincere thanks to all the CCAP assessment day candidates for their cooperation throughout the day. We have now also held the corresponding Trainer Assessment Day and our trainers look forward to being able to deliver the planned Auditor Workshops and Train the Trainer courses in a classroom environment throughout the rest of 2021/22. We will, however, continue enhancing our online delivery skills and use of online platforms with planned  online delivery of our Trainer Refresher courses and Trainer Forums to further assess how these events work in an online format. We hope the return to face to face training can continue, where appropriate, as we feel it still has a very important role for training of clinical coders in the post-pandemic world!

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  Changes to 2021/22 SNOMED CT releases

After a very active and dynamic period responding to COVID-19 priorities, we have taken stock of our Terminology Service and introduced changes to the 2021/22 release schedule whilst we build greater resilience, stabilise our release processes after significant process changes during the pandemic, and both enhance and grow our team.

The following approach has been introduced:

  • pause SNOMED CT International Edition uplifts (effective immediately following the May 2021 major release) until further notice (for a minimum of 12 months)
  • reduce the frequency of the SNOMED UK Clinical Edition updates for UK clinical content. the next releases will be: 14 July 2021, 6 October 2021, 1 December 2021, 23 February 2022
  • phase SNOMED CT content / backlog requests across releases planned in 2021 and 2022; the Request Submission Portal remains open 24/7
  • prioritise maintenance of key clinical terminology reference sets which may also mean new developments are put on hold

These changes will continue until we are in a better position to resume full service levels.

There are no changes to the SNOMED CT UK Drug Extension release schedule. The SNOMED CT Release Schedule is published on Delen.

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Following a pause in 2020, the SNOMED Implementation forum has now been reinstated. The decision to pause the forum reflected the:

  • significant COVID-19 pressures faced by forum members e.g. NHS staff and system suppliers, as well as by NHS Digital terminology and implementation teams
  • new communication pathways we adopted to allow us to work directly with key stakeholders to manage publication of purely COVID-related content, making us less reliant on the forum at that time.

As COVID pressures have eased to a degree, we felt that it was appropriate to relaunch the forum, which we plan to use for consultation and dialogue, to ensure that we develop a deeper understanding of our target audience and their requirements.

We are currently looking at ways to make the forum as effective as possible and of making the most of the huge expertise and specialist knowledge among forum members. We will work with the Terminology and Classifications Delivery Service and with our forum colleagues over the coming weeks to help with this. If you have any thoughts or suggestions or would like to receive an invitation to the next scheduled event, please email SNOMED.Implementation@nhs.net

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National Interim Clinical Imaging Procedure (NICIP) code set

Updates and releases of the National Interim Clinical Imaging Procedure (NICIP) code set have been placed on hold with immediate effect to allow the outcome of the following:

  • a formal position is being sought from NHSX on the strategic direction of NICIP and the long-term intention to move to the use of a single terminology of SNOMED CT
  • NHS England and Improvement are looking to commission a piece of discovery work that aims to identify how to improve the collection, utility, and dissemination of the Diagnostic Imaging Dataset: this could include reviewing opportunities and impacts of updating NICIP and / or transition to SNOMED CT

In the meantime, NICIP code requests can continue to be submitted to the Request Submission Portal where these will be logged until we are in a position to process them.

If you have any questions, please contact the Information Standards Service Desk at information.standards@nhs.net

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Terminology and Classifications Delivery Service - annual customer survey

Following deferred publication to reflect the pressures of COVID-19, our most recent survey ran from 16 December 2020 to 31 March 2022 and we received 57 responses.  This represents just 26% of the 219 responses we received in 2019.  It seems likely that the pandemic directly and / or indirectly affected the survey response rate. We are very grateful to all who participated and are currently reviewing both the numerical ratings and the in-depth comments and considering how best to use the survey feedback. We will provide a further update shortly.

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Have your say

If you would like more information about any aspect of our products and services, please let us know. Just write to us at information.standards@nhs.net, quoting “T+CD Newsletter” in the “Subject” field and providing details of what you would like us to cover.

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Created by Claire Fennell 1 year ago
Last modified by Claire Fennell 1 year ago