Skip to main content

Diagnostics Data Service

Improving data quality and interoperability standards in pathology, imaging, endoscopy, physiological measures and genomics health services.

The Diagnostics Data Service team are working to improve the information quality of diagnostics service outputs in order to improve the provision of healthcare in the NHS. Diagnostics services include pathology, endoscopy, imaging, physiological measures and genomics.

NHS Digital currently supports national products and services in the following diagnostics areas:

  • genetic test data
  • primary care pathology report messaging
  • imaging data standards and national information
  • laboratory data standards development
  • national diagnostics screening programmes

The Genetic Testing Rates collection obtains information on the access to, and provision of, genetic testing for NHS patients, provided by UK Genetic Testing Network (UKGTN) member laboratories.

The National Laboratory Medicine Catalogue (NLMC) is a list of pathology requests and results data standards in development.

The latest release of the NLMC prototype (Version 5.1) was published on 3rd November 2015. NHS Digital is currently working to further develop information standards in this area, with strategic collaboration from NHS England, NHS Improvement and the Royal College of Pathologists.

Preventative screening tests can help with the early detection of potentially fatal conditions. Diagnostics Data is tasked with improving the quality of data and development of standards for newborn bloodspot screening, national cervical screening, national bowel screening and national breast screening

The Diagnostic Imaging Dataset (DID) Collection is a central collection of detailed information about diagnostic imaging tests carried out on NHS patients by care providers. Imaging service providers extract and submit DID data to NHS Digital on a monthly basis.

The National Interim Clinical Imaging Procedure (NICIP) Code Set is a comprehensive national standard set of codes and descriptions for imaging procedures, it is used by all Imaging Department information systems.

As part of NHS England CCIO7 work streams, NHS Digital will deliver the ability to share Pathology results across health and care. Part of this work involves the development of an HL7 FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources)-based message specification in conjunction with a SNOMED CT coded Unified Test List (UTL). This will support the sharing of pathology requests and results.

These standards will ultimately replace the current PBCL/EDIFACT specification. Further information relating to this and our other Pathology information standards in development can be found on our Pathology and Diagnostics information standards collaboration space.

The Pathology bounded Code List (PBCL) provides a defined set of codes for use in laboratory to GP messaging.

All NHS Trusts providing a pathology service for Haematology, Biochemistry or Microbiology, are required to implement pathology messaging that meet PMIP standards. The National Messaging Assurance Service (NMAS) allows Trusts to assess their implementation of pathology report messaging against these standards.

Further information

  1. internal

    Primary Care Pathology Report Messaging

    NHS Digital supports the digital reporting of pathology test results from NHS labs to GPs, amounting to approximately 50 million reports per year.

Last edited: 24 November 2020 4:26 pm