NHS Health Check eBulletin

Information governance and IT

Many colleagues will be aware that we are pursuing development of a data standard with the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) see here. Several of you have supported us in this project. This is a protracted process with several lengthy stages; however we are presently expecting achievement of the new data set within this financial year.

Although the change is essentially an increase in the scope of codes that can be used to record actions and outcomes from an NHS Health Check, there is the introduction of SNOMED CT codes (systematized nomenclature of medicine – clinical terms) for the first time. SNOMED CT has been selected and approved as the terminology to be adopted by the NHS in England. It is the most comprehensive international terminology currently available (>50 countries) and can be used across all care settings and all clinical domains. It is managed and maintained internationally by the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation (IHTSDO) and in the UK by the UK Terminology Centre (UKTC).

Commissioners should be preparing their providers for the introduction of a new standard while reinforcing that there will be minimal disruption to the programme. Key messages are that most of this data is already collected, minimising additional burden, there will be no change to the information governance protocols and there will be no change to the safety of the data.

The exact method for extraction of the data standard has not been agreed but we will keep you informed through the normal routes as we progress this detail. System suppliers should align to the new data set once it becomes a standard. However, you should have these discussions in your local contract management groups and particularly where you use third party software providers to extract data.

This upgrade will support the continued development of the programme, allow us to create more comprehensive research methodology and enable us to enhance our epidemiological understanding of the modifiable risk factors for disease.


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