contains a record for every POSTCODE in the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
associates each POSTCODE with a variety of geographical information, such as grid references and census area codes, and codes for National Health Care Groupings, Higher Level Health Geographies and health commissioning ORGANISATIONS
file also includes pseudo POSTCODES covering default codes and overseas countries.
Two versions are issued every quarter by the Organisation Data Service:
Users are able to download files through the:
Full descriptions of the:
The same descriptions can also be accessed via the Technology Reference Data Update Distribution Service (TRUD).
- The Office for National Statistics supplies products either as a download free of charge or on CD or DVD in line with the Office for National Statistics charging policy. For further information see National Statistics Postcode Products.
All POSTCODES made available via the Organisation Data Service postcode files have been standardised to the eight character postcode format as used by the Royal Mail's Postal Address File (PAF). All NHS ORGANISATIONS should ensure that they conform to the POSTCODE format.POSTCODES are of the general format:
Character Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Format a a/n a/n a/n space n a a Coding Frame Outward Code space Inward Code
The coding frame allows the use of digits 0 (zero) to 9 and the use of upper-case alpha characters; no special characters are allowed.
- The fifth character of all standard format POSTCODES is always a space, and separates the outward and inward parts of the POSTCODE. The outward part of the POSTCODE is left-justified and can contain 2, 3 or 4 characters, and is space-filled in character positions 3 and 4 where required. The inward part of the POSTCODE is always 3 characters.
The following table gives examples of typical POSTCODES:
Character Position Allocated by Notes
W 9 3 X X Royal Mail D A 1 5 P L Royal Mail M K 4 5 1 T E Royal Mail Z Z 9 9 4 L Z ODS POSTCODES for PATIENTS who are Overseas Visitors Z Z 9 9 3 W Z ODS Pseudo POSTCODES
The Office for National Statistics produces a version of the NHS Postcode Directory that is based on a stable area base to facilitate time series analysis - the 1991-based Frozen Postcode Directory. This is available from the Office for National Statistics.
The Organisation Data Service issues the two supporting publications which are updated for and included with each quarterly publication of the postcode directories. This ensures that any new customers receive the necessary information.
The "NHSPD User Guide" contains a description of the NHS Postcode Directory and its content along with information about the methodologies used, data quality and limitations.
The "NHS PD Version Notes" contains a range of summary statistics and highlights important issues that may affect customers.
Electronic copies are provided through the:
Online distribution service Technology Reference Data Update Distribution Service (TRUD) and