Office of National Statistics

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The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is a government agency. It was formed out of the 1996 merger of:

  • The Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS) which was created in 1970.
  • Central Statistical Office (CSO) which was created in 1941[1]

OPCS Codes

The ONS continues to maintain and publish a list of surgical (and now medical) procedures that were first published by the OPCS. These are known as the OPCS codes and the historical name has been kept. The procedure codes should not be confused with with the geographic area codes also produced by OPCS.

It is presently in its 4th revision, with previous versions published in 1950, 1969 and 1975.[2][3][4] The 4th revision was first published in 1987, but a consolidated version was released in 1990.[5] OPCS-4 has undergone further small revisions, denoted as 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4. Revision 4.5 is currently in progress.[6]

The full document is available from the NHS Connecting for Health (see [7]). Licensing depends on the individual/organisation applying and the intended use of the codes.

This article is a stub. Please feel free to expand it and make it more encyclopaedic.


  1. A Brief History of the ONS accessed 20/7
  2. Draft Code of Surgical Operations. General Register Office, London. HMSO, 1950
  3. Classification of Surgical Operations. Second Revision. General Register Office, London. HMSO, 1969
  4. Office of Population Censuses Surveys Classification of Surgical Operations. Third Revision. OPCS, London. HMSO, 1975
  5. Tabular List of the Classification of Surgical Operations and Procedures: Fourth Revision. OPCS 1990, ISBN 0116912952
  6. Hospital Episode Statistics web-site
  7. NHS Connecting for Health web-page on OPCS-4