What is the NPHL?

Some years ago, the Health Development Agency (now known as the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)) created the Public Health Information Thesaurus which was originally based on the European Multilingual Thesaurus on Health Promotion. To date, this thesaurus had been used to index HealthPromis (the Health Promotion bibliographic catalogue), as well as the HDA's Evidence Base and the Public Health Electronic Library.

The Health Intelligence team at NICE worked with the network of Public Health Observatories and the National Electronic Library for Health team on issues related to interoperability and public health.

Part of this work involved developing a common public health language to describe information and resources that are held on our websites and databases with the aim of improving the searching for and retrieval of these resources.

NICE and England's Public Health Observatories (PHOs) developed a unified National Public Health Language (NPHL) to facilitate interoperability.

The first version of this language was officially launched at a conference in December 2004, further details of which can be found here. The NPHL is the result of integrating the former HDA's Public Health Information Thesaurus with the PHOs' Public Health Information Tagging System (PHITS), which are no longer active as they have been superseded by the NPHL.

To view the NPHL or download a PDF copy of it please click here.

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