The Cabinet Office has recently been in touch with JRCALC to enquire as to the possibility of ambulance services using the same numerical codes on their patient report forms to identify the drugs they use.

This has come about as the Cabinet Office has audited some A&E departments who report difficulties when they receive patients from more than one ambulance service.

To assist in this the JRCALC guidelines committee will ensure that a common code is attached to each drug when Version 3 of the guidelines is published in January 2004.

It is anticipated that the “SNOMED CR” coding system will be used so ensure compliance with the rest of the NHS in its coding system. This system will replace Reed codes currently in use in the NHS.

Trusts need take no action now, but should note that the system will be available for use after January 2004. Trusts may wish to consider this when designing new PRFs in the meantime.

Iain McNeil
Hon Secretary JRCALC