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United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is a founder member of SNOMED International, and its representative is NHS England, on behalf of the UK countries.

NHS England is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department of Health for England. NHS England is working closely with the UK countries to ensure a consistent and coherent contribution to SNOMED International.

NHS England provides data, information and technology resource for the health and care system and plays a fundamental role in driving better care, better services and better outcomes for patients in England. NHS England is the trusted source of authoritative data, information and information standards relating to health and care.

NHS England is responsible for discharging the various Member country responsibilities, which includes the governance of clinical terminology and related activities. The Information Representation Service (IReS) UK Strategic Board sets the strategic direction for terminology and includes representatives from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

NHS England is the UK Member’s National Release Centre for the creation of, and delegated authority to license, SNOMED CT UK Edition and derivatives. This role is undertaken by NHS England's Information Representation Services.

All NHS provider organisations are expected to assume paperless running by 1 April 2018 and are expected to adopt SNOMED CT in the direct care process by 1 April 2020. During this time we must also work with local authorities to understand and address the implications of this for Social Care.

Clinical applications incorporating SNOMED CT continue to be deployed into all healthcare sectors. For example, over 156 million electronic prescription messages are transacted monthly using SNOMED CT. The retirement of the Read Drug and Appliance Dictionary in support of the strategic direction to adopt SNOMED CT for the exchange of medicines information.

The creation of mapping tables from antecedent versions of SNOMED for pathology content as well as Read to SNOMED CT mapping tables for laboratory result reporting.

The UK Edition is now available in both RF1 and RF2 formats, with around 88,000 UK clinical concepts and 380,000 UK drugs.

More information about SNOMED CT in the United Kingdom can be accessed here: 

(For inquiries relating to SNOMED CT UK Edition, licensing, requests for new terms, training, advice and related products)

National Information Board Personalised Health and Care 2020: A Framework for Action

  • Endorses the move to adopt a single terminology, SNOMED CT

  • States that partners will actively collaborate to ensure that all primary care systems adopt SNOMED CT by the end of December 2016

  • States that the entire health system should adopt SNOMED CT by April 2020

  • States that the NIB will work with local authorities to understand and address the implications of this for social care.

Contact Details

NHS England
7 and 8 Wellington Place
West Yorkshire

Information Representation Services Help Desk:

Appointed Representatives

General Assembly: Alex Elias, NHS England
Member Forum: Paul Wright

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