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The national laboratory medicine catalogue open peer review – January 2012

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The National Laboratory Medicine Catalogue (NLMC) open peer review is available.

The catalogue is a collaboration between the Royal College of Pathologists, the Department of Health and NHS Connecting for Health. It is the first comprehensive standard for pathology test requests and results reporting. This early product is now available for open peer review before its full launch in July 2012.

Every year NHS pathologists carry out more than 700 million pathology investigations and the results of routine tests are overwhelmingly reported within 48 hours.

GPs and hospital doctors rely on accurate and reliable information from pathologists to help them make the right treatment decisions that will deliver the best outcomes for their patients. They need to be sure they are able to interpret the results of pathology investigations correctly.

Up until now, there has been no way of reporting pathology test results in a consistent, standardised way across the country meaning that different names in different settings could mean the same or different things.

The national laboratory medicine catalogue is the first comprehensive standard for pathology Services, enabling pathology test requests and results to be standardised in common and consistent formats. This means that hospital doctors, GPs, nurses and other health professionals can be certain they are requesting the right test every time and can safely interpret the results of pathology investigations even when they come from more than one source.

The NLMC has been developed by pathologists, under the direction of the Royal College of Pathologists, working collaboratively with the Department of Health and NHS Connecting for Health.

To support this work the Royal College of Pathologists has overseen a National Laboratory Medicine Catalogue Governance Board which has already given the NLMC an initial peer review.

The next release of the catalogue is now available for wider peer review by anyone with an interest or expertise in pathology services. It can be accessed via the NHS Connecting for Health website along with a communications pack including a full narrative, answers to frequently asked questions and a slide presentation.

A feedback form is included with the catalogue. Please note that all reviewers will be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

After the open review, the catalogue will be fully launched in July 2012. Post-launch, it will be updated on a regular basis - starting quarterly, then reducing in frequency as the catalogue content becomes more comprehensive.

Gateway number: 17169.