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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PRSB has published guidance for health and care professionals in collaboration with NHS Digital.

NHS Digital new COVID-19 release 22 April 2020

In order to provide timely support to you during the pandemic, we are sharing clinical guidance on how to code cases of COVID-19 which will help you manage clinical information that improves patient care. It will also support central data collections to help manage the pandemic and aid research and planning. NHS Digital has compiled and released a new list of COVID-19-related UK SNOMED CT codes today. This release is most relevant to primary care but the new codes are being communicated to all system vendors to update their systems.

At the urgent request of NHS Digital we have developed this brief guidance to assist you in your clinical practice.

We know that information needs will change during the pandemic and guidance will need to evolve to meet your needs. We will keep you informed of important updates over the days and weeks to come. Please feel free to pass this on to colleagues as appropriate. The guidance here has been developed with the support of our members and clinicians.

The COVID-19 SNOMED CT codes comprise the following groups:

  • Risk category
  • Isolating/shielding advice
  • Encounter and advice
  • Exposure
  • Signs and symptoms
  • Swabbing
  • Tests and test results
  • Clinical and test result interpretations/disease labels
  • Severity assessment
  • Complications
  • Vaccination

NHS Digital has revised (22 April 2020) its SNOMED CT codes for COVID-19 and updated its guidance based on the new revisions. This is the second emergency COVID-19 release and includes pathology test names and test results relating to COVID-19 and other minor revisions.

The full list of revisions can be found here and more updates can be found on the NHS Digital SNAP update. Technical guidance to support incorporating pathology coding into clinical information systems in primary care is available here. PRSB is developing clinical guidance to support adoption of COVID-19 codes that will be published shortly.

These new COVID-19 codes should be used by the following clinicians, please note this is not an exhaustive list:

  • GPs
  • Primary care nurses
  • Other community-based clinicians using primary care or community systems
  • Pharmacists
  • Community-based mental health clinicians

System suppliers will be updating their systems now and will be rolling out COVID-19 related SNOMED CT codes urgently. Please check with your system supplier about when the new codes will be available locally.

For more information

  • For more information on COVID-19 UK SNOMED CT codes please refer to our COVID-19 FAQs.
  • If you have any further questions about the above guidance or COVID-19 UK SNOMED CT codes please contact