National Laboratory Medicine Catalogue

Development of a National Laboratory Medicine Catalogue ceased to be a RCPath work stream in June 2015. NHS Digital have since taken over responsibility for this work, resumption of which is one of a number of their planned future projects. Therefore, there is currently no standard for test name, units of measurement or SNOMED-CT coding system for pathology tests.

The Pathology Bounded Code List (PBCL) remains as the main Pathology test coding system for delivering results to Primary Care. Its scope remains significantly limited and with READ codes now being phased out, there are no opportunities for any new test additions to be made. There are several PBCL Technology Reference data Update Distribution (TRUD) updates planned by NHS Digital running through 2017 but these will be limited to correcting identified errors in coding.

It is hoped that a new programme of work centred around pathology catalogues will commence via NHS Digital. It is vital that Pathology professionals continue to engage and participate in this – if interested please contact the RCPath Pathology Informatics Group.