NHS Parent Organisation Code (POC)

Published on: 9th December 2021 | Updated on: 19th March 2024

Your pharmacy NHS Parent Organisation Code (POC) code is the pharmacy’s unique identifying code for the parent organisation. Every pharmacy contractor has a POC even if there is one pharmacy within the organisation. If your pharmacy organisation has more than one pharmacy within it, each of them should be connected to your POC code. If there are changes to ownership, you may need to request that the pharmacy moves to the correct POC code.

What is a POC

POCs are used for various things reporting, Manage Your Service (MYS), and more in future.

The Organisation Data Service (ODS) code is the unique identifying code used by the NHS for various purposes, including supporting national NHS IT systems, such as EPS. Most NHS providers have an ODS code and for pharmacies, it is a four-or-five-character code, usually but not always beginning with the letter ‘P’. It may contain numbers and letters. NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) will use the POC to support the reporting for pharmacy contractors. Other NHS agencies also use POCs to help group data which is published to help pharmacy contractors .

The POC also groups pharmacies so that one Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPTK)  submission can be made for all pharmacies within the POC.

Your ODS/ownership code may need to change in some scenarios and in which case your POC may also need to be requested to be changed. Read more at the change of circumstance guide/checklist.

In some circumstances you may need to make changes to the POC code of some pharmacies (see below).

ODS/change checklist

Community Pharmacy England recommends that pharmacy contractors planning such changes (e.g. to Organisation Data Service (ODS) code) work through all of the change of circumstance guide/checklist and give the local NHS England team an absolute minimum of one month’s notice of the planned date for the change. The full transition period lasts for at least one month. Pharmacy relocation, closures or sales are subject to regulatory requirements, but this Community Pharmacy England guidance focuses on mitigating IT/Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) impacts where such changes are planned.

How to change your POC?

Contractors should use usual process i.e. request corrections to POCs by contacting exeter.helpdesk@nhs.net.

ODS portal and POC info

See: NHS Digital’s ODS portal.

The ODS portal enables you to check the POC code portal entry, and which pharm(acies) are connected to it.

See also Checking pharmacies linked to your POC code using ODS portal factsheet.

Data is also exportable at NHS ODS Data Point odsdatapoint.digital.nhs.uk.


Q. I am changing system supplier. Does this impact my use of my POC?

No but if changing supplier you should consult change of circumstance guide/checklist.

Further info

Read more at:

  • ODS (NHS Digital)

If you have queries on this webpage or you require more information please contact it@cpe.org.uk.



Return to the Pharmacy IT hub; Standards; or ODS


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