NHS Number

The NHS Number is the only national unique patient identifier in operation in the NHS at this time. Each NHS Number is specific to an individual person.

The Use of the NHS Number is fundamental to improving patient safety across all care settings by:

  • Reducing clinical risk caused through misallocation of patient information
  • Resolving some of the barriers to safely sharing information across healthcare settings
  • Assisting with long term follow-up processes and audit
What is the NHS Number?

Everyone registered with the NHS in England and Wales has their own unique NHS Number that stays with them for life. Every baby born in England and Wales is given an NHS Number at birth.

The NHS Number helps healthcare staff to find your health records. Each NHS Number is made up of 10 digits, shown like this: 123 456 7890 (this is an example number only).

How do I find out my NHS Number?

If you are registered with a GP practice you will have received a letter from them containing your NHS Number. If you can't find your NHS Number at home, contact your GP Practice. To protect your privacy, they may ask you to show them a passport, driving licence or some other proof of who you are.

You'll need your NHS Number to book hospital appointments online through the NHS e-Referral Service or to register for the Electronic Prescription Service.

Why is the NHS Number important to everyone?

Your NHS Number is unique to you. Using the NHS Number to identify you correctly is an important step towards improving the safety of your healthcare. If you know your NHS Number you can help healthcare staff find your records mores easily and share them safely with others who are caring for you.

As an added safety measure, you can start checking the things the NHS sends you to make sure they have the right NHS Number and the information relates to you.

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