To find out your NHS Number you can contact your GP practice and ask them to look it up. To protect your privacy, they may ask you to show them a passport, driving licence or some other proof of who you are.
No, your NHS Number is different from your National Insurance (NI) number, which is used for tax and pensions. If you have any questions about your NI number contact the local office of the Department of Work and Pensions. To find your local office, visit the website of the Department of Work and Pensions.
on your NHS medical card if you have one – please note that not all NHS areas issue medical cards
In addition, the healthcare professional must seek your permission if they need to look at your SCR. If they cannot ask you because you are unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate, they may decide to look at your record because doing so is in your best interest. This access is recorded and checked by the Privacy Officer of the organisation to ensure it is appropriate. Find out more about information governance from NHS Digital.
Each NHS Number is made up of 10 digits shown in a 3-3-4 format, usually as follows (example only):
The NHS number acts as the key to unlocking services such as e-Referrals Service and the Electronic Prescription Service.
You should be able to find your NHS Number on any letter or document you have received from the NHS, including prescriptions, test results, and hospital referral or appointment letters. If you have a medical card, your NHS number should be printed on it.
Your NHS Number is unique to you. Using your NHS Number to identify you correctly is an important step towards improving the safety of your healthcare.
It helps to create a complete record of your care -
Usually your baby would be given an NHS number whilst they are still in hospital, however if your baby is born outside of hospital they will receive their NHS number when the midwife registers the birth.
Your NHS Number helps healthcare staff and service providers identify you correctly and match your details to your health records. This will ensure you receive safe and efficient care within the NHS.
If you are a parent or guardian of a child under 16 and feel that your child is able to understand this information you should show it to them. You can then support them in the decision to maintain an SCR and whether to include additional information.
Learn more about the NHS number as a patient.
Your health records should include everything to do with your care, including x-rays or discharge notes. The data in your records can include:
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If you can't find your NHS Number at home, your GP practice should be able to help you. When you register with a GP practice, you will receive a GP registration letter, which provides basic details such as a patient's name, address, NHS number, registered GP practice (or the name of an individual practitioner) and details of your NHS England regional team.
Your NHS number helps to find your health records. Everyone registered with the NHS in England and Wales has their own unique number.
It also includes your name, address, date of birth and unique NHS Number which helps to identify you correctly.
When you register with a local GP practice, you will be given an NHS Number as part of registration. You can either go to a GP practice yourself to register or ask your local PCT to put you on the list of a local GP practice.
However, having an NHS Number does not mean you are automatically entitled to the free use of all NHS services. Patients in England are required to pay patient contributions towards some NHS services they receive. Read more about paying NHS charges.
Also read the advice leaflet adding more information to your record (PDF, 420kb).
Wherever you visit an NHS service in England a record is created for you. This means medical information about you can be held in various places, including your GP practice, any hospital where you've had treatment, your dentist practice, and so on.
To find out your NHS Number, you can ask your local primary care trust (PCT) to look it up for you.
The modern style of NHS number was generally introduced in 1996, although they were allocated to every new-born baby since July 1995, before becoming mandatory on 1 April 1997.
If you know your NHS Number, or can show your medical card, you can help healthcare staff find your records more easily and share them safely with others who are caring for you.
Your NHS Number is unique to you. The number will appear on most official documents and letters you receive from the NHS, including prescriptions, test results or hospital appointment letters. You don't need to know your NHS Number to receive care, and you should not be denied care on the basis you do not know, or do not have, an NHS Number.
No, it is not essential to know your NHS Number, but it will be helpful if you are able to give it to NHS staff who need to find your health records.
To find out your NHS Number, contact your GP practice and ask them to look it up for you.
To help improve the sharing of important information about you, the NHS in England is using an electronic record called the Summary Care Record (SCR) – See the section below for more information.
How to find NHS number
If you are registered with a GP practice they should be able to give you a note of your NHS number on your request.
If you want to know your NHS Number, or you have an old style number and want to know your new 10 digit one, please follow the instructions below:
Since April 2015 all GPs should offer their patients online access to summary information of their GP records. To find out more about how to access medical records online or in paper see the section How to access your health records.
You may have an old style NHS Number on your medical card which contains both letters and numbers. This style has been replaced for all NHS patients with the new version made up of only numbers.
The Human Rights Act (1998) also states that everyone has the right to have their private life respected. This includes the right to keep your health records confidential.
To find out the telephone number for your nearest PCT visit the NHS Choices website - select 'NHS trusts' and enter your postcode. Alternatively, to find out your local PCT, call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.
It is a criminal offence to breach the Data Protection Act (1998) and doing so can result in imprisonment.
linking every episode of your care across NHS organisations.
No, your NHS Number is different from your National Insurance number, which is used for tax, benefits and pensions. For more information about National Insurance or how to apply for a National Insurance number, visit the GOV.UK website.
This new 10-digit string of numbers was introduced in 1996 to replace a variety of inconsistent predecessors. You can find out your 10 digit NHS number by contacting the GP you are registered with.