The Organization Data Service (ODS) is provided by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). It is responsible for the publication of all organization and practitioner codes and national policy and standards with regard to the majority of organization codes, and encompasses the functionality and services previously provided by the National Administrative Codes Service (NACS).
These code standards form part of the NHS data standards. The HSCIC is also responsible for the day-to-day operation of the ODS and for its overall development.
Usually, when a General Practitioners (GP) retires or leaves a practice, a successor is appointed prior to the departure of the outgoing GP. In such cases, if the GP in question holds their own ‘list’ of patients on the Practice and National Health Applications and Infrastructure Services (NHAIS) systems, these are transferred to the new GP (referred to as the successor) using bulk transfer processes. There are, however, two circumstances where this is not possible:
– Where a successor has yet to be appointed, the NHAIS system currently offers the facility to set the individual GP list to ‘abeyance’. This leaves the patients technically registered with the departing GP until a successor can be obtained. In practice, the patients are usually still treated by the remaining partners in the practice, or sometimes a locum is employed temporarily by the practice. This process ensures the practice list is still calculated appropriately for payment.
– When a successor is not actively being sought, the NHAIS dispersal function is used; patients registered with the GP are written to advising them to register with a new GP.
In order to ensure that NHS Strategic Tracing Service (NSTS) and Personal Demographics Service (PDS) are correct, it is necessary to set up Abeyance/Dispersal codes; these take the form of GP Practitioner format codes which relate to a practice rather than an individual GP, and ODS has responsibility for this.