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What is an ODS code?

An ODS code (also called an Organisation code) is a unique code created by the Organisation Data Service within NHS Digital, and used to identify organisations across health and social care. ODS codes are required in order to gain access to national systems like NHSmail and the Data Security and Protection Toolkit.

Finding your ODS Code

If you do not know your organisation’s ODS code, you can look it up from the following address: https://odsportal.hscic.gov.uk/Organisation/Search. Type in your organisation’s postcode. If there are a number of codes and you are not sure which one is the right one, please read further guidance below, or contact us and we can help: 0208 133 3430 (Mon-Fri 9-5) or [email protected].

Choosing the correct code

All Care Home and Domiciliary Care providers will have at least 2 codes.

  • An HQ code or “parent” code. This is 4 digits and normally starts with an A or C, e.g. A*** or C***.
  • One or more site or “child” codes. This is 5 digits and normally starts with V, e.g. V****. Each site code belongs to a single HQ code

If you are completing your DSPT for a single site, we recommend registering using your V***** code

If you are completing your DSPT for your HQ/Head office, and potentially intend for this assessment to apply to multiple sites, we recommend registering using your A**** or C**** code.

Other types of ODS code (8*****)

Some organisations, particularly those that provide a wide range of services may also have additional ODS codes such as those for non-NHS organisations, which may take the format: 8***** etc.  For the purposes of access to NHSmail and the Social Care support offer – you should instead use your A***, C**** or V***** codes (as above).

What happens if there is an issue with your code?

ODS uses CQC data to create organisation codes. If a code has been allocated but there is an issue with the data held by ODS, this means that CQC also have incorrect data. Your code and associated information, such as name and address, can only be changed by CQC. If you contact CQC and change your data, this will then flow to ODS and be published as part of the social care files used across the NHS.

If you are not CQC registered, you will need to contact the ODS team through [email protected] and ask for a code to be created.

More information

The following pages include more detail on ODS codes, including how there are different code hierarchies dependant on the size of your business.