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Terminology servers

Keep terminologies and classifications in your health and care systems up to date, and share and understand coded information across systems, using terminology servers.

Terminology servers

Using terminology servers simplifies the process of sharing and understanding recorded data.

Terminologies and classifications are in widespread use across the health and care sector, often made available in different formats. Terminologies and classifications turn narrative information into machine readable codes which can be shared and understood by different systems.

A FHIR® compliant terminology server provides consistent formats and access methods across every terminology or classification it contains. This can help systems be able to use more terminologies and classifications without additional effort, and to share and reuse recorded data more easily.

A terminology server also makes it possible to load local codes and map these to national codes or other local or system codes.

The NHS Digital Terminology Server

The NHS Digital Terminology Server is a FHIR® compliant solution that holds and disseminates assured international terminologies and classifications  (such as SNOMED-CT and ICD-10) and national terminologies (such as NHS Data Model and Dictionary codes).

We have developed the NHS Digital Terminology Server to deliver assured content in FHIR® compliant, machine readable formats – regardless of which terminology is being accessed. The accuracy of the content is maintained through tightly managed editorial controls. This will remove the need to manually update your systems with downloaded content from TRUD and other terminology sites.

There is also a syndication feed (API) which enables content to be syndicated across a group of terminology servers. This allows you to share your own terminologies with others.

Using the NHS Digital Terminology Server

Potential users who will benefit from using the NHS Digital terminology server include:

  • providers of health and care services
  • commissioners of health and care services
  • population health managers
  • suppliers in the health and care market
  • researchers and analysts

Access to some of the content within the NHS Digital Terminology Server will be freely available for read access (such as Data Dictionary). Other content will be subject to access controls appropriate to the licensed content (such as SNOMED CT).

Users can access the NHS Digital Terminology Server with a registered account (authenticated) or without a registered account (Non-authenticated).


Guidance for how to register for an account is provided in the Account Management training guide. The Terminology Server can be accessed from


If you wish to access the Terminology Server from a software application or to syndicate content to your own terminology server, rather than access via a browser, you will need a system-to-system account. Complete a System to system account request form to request an NHS Digital Terminology Server system-to-system account.

An End User Agreement , Content Licences Agreement and Privacy Policy is in place for all users and should be read before using the Terminology Server.

Acceptance of the End User Agreement and Content Licences Agreement is recorded as part of registering for an account.

Terminology server training material

User transparency statement

When you register for an account on the NHS Digital Terminology Server, NHS Digital will collect and process your name and email address as provided during the registration process.  This, along with the IP address presented to the Terminology Server each time you log on, will be processed for the sole purpose of operating the Terminology Server.

Content in the NHS Digital Terminology Server

Code systems, value sets and concept maps for a growing number of national and internationally assured terminologies and classifications are included in the NHS Digital Terminology Server.

We plan to load the following terminologies and classifications:

Planned system changes

The following technical changes are planned to be made to the Terminology Server.

Date/Time Change description Planned system unavailability Change status
  No planned changes at present    


Buy your own terminology server

You may want to buy your own terminology server, to manage and create content yourself and share it with other terminology servers, including the NHS Digital Terminology Server. We have set up a framework agreement with Dedalus which could provide an efficient route for you to buy your own terminology server.

Contact us for system support

In-hours Support

Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm excluding English bank holidays:

Out of hours support

High Severity Service Incidents (i.e. the system is unavailable or there has been a security breach):

Non-High Severity Service Incidents (your incident ticket will be reviewed the following working day)

Last edited: 31 March 2021 12:47 pm