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Read Codes

Read Codes are a coded thesaurus of clinical terms. They have been used in the NHS since 1985. There are two versions: version 2 (v2) and version 3 (CTV3 or v3). Both versions provide a standard vocabulary for clinicians to record patient findings and procedures, in health and social care IT systems across primary and secondary care.

Retirement of Read Version 2 and Clinical Terms Version 3

Information Standard Notices 1552 and 1553 confirmed the schedule for the retirement of Read v2 and v3 (CTV3) clinical terminologies. The last updated release of Read v2 was April 2016, and there will be no further update to CTV3 following the April 2018 release.

Requests for changes to either Read v2 or CTV3 can no longer be submitted - requests for new concepts should be submitted via the SNOMED CT product menu of the request submission portal. You will need to register the first time you use the portal.

The final updates of Read v2 and CTV3, together with the UK Read Browser, will continue to be downloadable via TRUD until 2020.

Organisations should be well underway with their preparations to ensure they can use the dictionary of medicines and devices (dm+d) for medicines and SNOMED CT for clinical content.

Static files from the April 2016 release of the classifications cross-maps, from Read v2 and CTV3 to ICD-10 and OPCS-4, will continue to be available. SNOMED CT to ICD-10 and OPCS-4 cross maps will continue to be available to users.

Retirement of Read Codes Drug and Appliance Dictionary (DAAD)

The Read Codes DAAD was released for the final time on 1 April 2016. All releases have been removed from TRUD and access to the release is now via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) only on request.

Pathology Bounded Code List (PBCL)

The Read v2 Pathology Bounded Code List (PBCL)  is a subset of Read used in the Pathology Messaging - EDIFACT integration between laboratories and GP systems.

The DAPB 4101 Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Reporting Information Standard has been created to replace Pathology Messaging – EDIFACT, and mandates the use of SNOMED CT instead of Read codes.

Semantically equivalent SNOMED CT PBCL concepts, mapped to Read v2 PBCL codes are contained in the PBCL observables simple reference set.

More details can be found on the Pathology Standards and Implementation section of this website. 

Last edited: 7 December 2023 4:13 pm