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APIs for the Organisation Data Service

APIs are now available for organisations and developers to access Organisation Reference Data (ORD) information on health and social care organisations.

Two APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) exist currently which provide to access our Organisation Data Service (ODS) data.

These are hosted within a single service called the ODS API Suite and the data is available to all consumers and is free at the point of use.

Find guidance for ODS ORD API implementation.

Benefits of the ODS API suite

The APIs are built using RESTful principles (Representational State Transfer) which makes it easy to retrieve updates to the information.

The APIs complement the XML ORD products available through the NHS Digital Terminology Reference data Update Distribution service (TRUD). The published standard Health and Social Care Organisation Reference Data (DCB0090) approved by the Data Co-ordination Board (DCB) has been amended to direct consumers towards the ORD API.

Users can choose which of the two APIs best supports the standards they have in place and the goals of their service, the ORD compatible API or the FHIR compatible API, or can use both. The ORD compatible API contains the full record from ODS, and the FHIR compatible API contains a reduced dataset, most useful for helping with transactions.

High level technical illustration

Architectural view of the design of the ODS API suite

ORD compatible API

This API is designed to be compatible with the Organisation Reference Data (ORD) standard and contains the full record from ODS. 

Intended customers

Users who have adopted the ORD standard and who want to hold data locally. 


The ORD compatible API:

  • the user baselines data using the XML products and connects to the service to retrieve updates at a time that suits the user
  • the user synchronises changes into a local data store via the 'LastChangeDate' mechanism which allows users to retrieve records which have changed

Output format



All attributes from:

  • Organisation (such as OrgID, Name, Open Date, Close Date, LastChangeDate, Status)
  • Geographic Location (Address Details)
  • Contacts (mailto, http, tel, fax)
  • Roles (Primary and Non-Primary Roles)
  • Relationships (Legal and Operational Relationships including history where this has been captured by ODS)
  • Succession (History of legal Succession following reconfiguration/mergers, etc.)
  • Additional Attributes (Data Items included to support policy and pragmatic change)

ORD compatible API scope diagram

FHIR compatible API

This API is designed to work with the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources Standard (FHIR - pronounced 'fire'), created by Health Level Seven.

Intended customers

Users looking for a simple way to support health transactions and interoperability.


The FHIR compatible API is a transactional interface which:

  • is based on the Health Level Seven International (HL7) FHIR standard
  • provides access to Organisation Reference Data

Output format



A subset of information from:

  • Organisation
  • Geographic location
  • Contacts
  • Roles

FHIR compatible API scope diagram

Last edited: 9 August 2021 8:40 am