Local Digital work to accelerate adoption of Open Referral in the UK

The UK Government Local Digital fund has today announced “An initial fund of £600k will be allocated to drive further adoption and to set up a Cross-Government Advisory Group”. This builds on recommendations of the Scaling the Impact of the Open Referral Standard work that concluded in December 2023.

My understanding is that adoption of the Standard in the UK will be stimulated by a Cross-Government Advisory Group. In addition to promotion and articulation of the business case for adoption, I expect the Group to drive work that articulates what compliance means and provides tools to test compliance and publicise which data feeds are compliant.

There will inevitably be discussion to help councils, government departments and their suppliers adopt the standard and to make sure its application is practical, beneficial and cost-effective. So it would be good to see discussion along those lines here in the coming months.

Here’s the Local Digital blog: Driving adoption of Open Referral UK to deliver millions in annual savings for councils.


This is fantastic news! Congratulations to you and the team for driving this forward @MikeThacker.

National Support Network is well placed to be involved in this given our experience. We’re creating infrastructure which is Open Referral compliant in addition to our current 4000+ national services directory.

Very exciting to see this progressing so quickly following the call in December. Congrats again.


Great news Mike!

Look forward to seeing what can be achieved over the next three years.


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