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Branch surgeries

Describes how GP Connect manages branch surgery data

GP practices with multiple surgeries

A GP practice may operate from a single surgery (location) or from multiple surgeries (multiple locations).

In GP Connect, a GP practice is represented by an Organization resource, and the surgeries are represented by Location resources. The surgery Location is linked to the GP practice Organization via the Location.managingOrganisation element.


A GP practice operating multiple surgeries usually designates one of the surgeries as a main surgery and the rest as branch surgeries. The designation of surgeries as main and branch doesn’t have significant impact on GP Connect other than the main surgery normally having the same name and address as the GP practice, and the branch surgeries having different names and addresses.

When a patient registers at a GP practice with multiple surgeries, they are assigned a ‘preferred’ surgery, even though the patient is formally registered to the GP practice (organisation) as a whole, and can usually attend appointments at any of the surgeries (locations).

ODS codes

In GP Connect, an ODS code identifies a GP practice as a whole, and is populated in the Organization.identifier element.

Personal Demographics Service

The Personal Demographics Service is used by GP Connect consuming systems to verify a patient’s identity, and also to retrieve the ODS code of a patient’s registered GP practice.

The ODS code stored in a patient’s PDS record represents the GP practice as a whole, and does not identify the patient’s preferred surgery.

GP Connect routing

GP Connect uses ODS codes in order to route requests to a GP practice by including the practice’s ODS code in the URL (see Service Root URL).

Therefore, when a GP Connect request is sent, it is sent to a practice as a whole, and not to a specific surgery.

The following query to read a Patient resource is being sent to the patient’s GP practice identified by the ODS code D82809:

Implications for Access Record HTML and Access Record Structured

There are no implications for Access Record HTML and Access Record Structured because the patient’s record is requested from the GP practice as a whole and not from an individual surgery.

Implications for Appointment Management

Because a GP practice’s appointment book can hold appointments across multiple surgeries (locations), it is important to distinguish which surgery an appointment is held at, to allow the patient to decide where they wish to attend.

In order to do this, every Schedule resource has an associated Location resource which represents the surgery that the appointment will take place at, including the surgery’s name, address and contact details.

To retrieve the patient’s preferred surgery (assigned when they registered with the practice), a reference to the surgery Location is held in Patient.registrationDetails.preferredBranchSurgery. This can be used to identify appointment slots at the patient’s preferred surgery by comparing its logical id with that of the Location resource referenced from the element.

Tags: development

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