Our product currently integrates with PDS using the legacy HL7v3 (MIM 3.1.11), and for fetching addresses, or posting new address to PDS, we make heavy use of the PAF key element of the address, which was required when we first integrated, and the use of the PAF key is even encouraged with the new PDS FHIR API.
We fetch the PAF address key for an address from the Spine Gazetteer service, however with the Gazetteer being retired in October this year, how should we fetch this? The recommendation on the Gazetteer page is to migrate to the OS Places API, however OS Places does not - as far as we’ve been able to tell - contain the PAF address key.
Within OS Places, there are two alternate attributes: UPRN, the NHS preferred option, however this is not currently supported by even the PDS FHIR APIs, let alone the HL7v3 integration.
The other attribute is the UDPRN, which is Royal Mail’s replacement for the PAF key – they describe it as “UDPRN stands for ‘Unique Delivery Point Reference Number’. Each UDPRN is an 8-character code that can be used instead of the current address keys on PAF”. They introduced the UDPRN as RM state the PAF Address Key is not guaranteed to be consistent over time with a single address.
Even though it’s 8-char long, like the PAF key, it’s not documented how the UDPRN was originally seeded: it’s conceivable that Royal Mail might have been initially seeded such that UDPRN == Address Key, but there’s nothing to say this is what happened.
So we are seeking advice: with the demise of the Gazetteer, and the seeming lack of PAF key in OS Places, are we able to use the UDPRN instead? If not, what is the advice from NHS on obtaining the PAF address key? It’s also possible we’ve just not seen the PAF Address Key element in the OS Places data, if so - can someone point me to it?
 “To ensure consistent data across all patient addresses, you should match addresses to the PAF and send them in PAF format including the PAF key.” – https://digital.nhs.uk/developer/api-catalogue/personal-demographics-service-fhir#patch-/Patient/-id-