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Your NHS number

Your NHS Number is unique to you and by using it correctly it is an important step towards improving the safety of your healthcare.

If you know your NHS Number, or can show your medical card, you can help healthcare staff find and share your records more easily and safely with others who are caring for you.

As an added safety measure, you can start checking the things we send you to make sure that we have the right NHS Number for you.

How do you find out what your NHS Number is?

Everyone registered with the NHS in England and Wales has their own unique NHS Number. Your NHS Number is printed on your medical card given to you when you register with a GP practice. Each NHS Number is made up of 10 digits shown in the following way:

  • 450  557  7104 – Example only

If you have an old style number (made up of letters and numbers) and want to know your new one then please follow the steps below. Having an old style number will not affect your care.

To find out your NHS Number you can contact your GP practice and ask them to look it up for you. To protect your privacy they will ask you to show some proof of who you are – examples: passport or driving licence.

If you are not currently registered with a GP practice but think you already have an NHS Number you can ask your local primary care trust (PCT).

To find out the telephone number for your nearest PCT visit

http://www.nhs.uk/servicedirectories/Pages/ServiceSearch.aspx  - Select ‘NHS trusts’ and enter your postcode.

Alternatively call NHS Direct on 0845 4647 to find your local PCT.

If you have never registered with a GP practice you will not have an NHS Number.

Visiting this country?

If you are visiting the country for less than three months you will not be given a permanent NHS Number.

More information on overseas visitors using the NHS is available at:

http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Healthcare/Entitlementsandcharges/OverseasVisitors/index.htm

If you have recently had a baby

Babies born in hospital in England and Wales are given an NHS Numbers soon after birth.

If your baby was born at home you will receive and NHS Number when you register your baby’s birth.

Is my NHS Number the same as my National Insurance (NI) Number?

No. They are different. Your NI Number is used for tax and pensions. If you have any questions about your NI Number contact the office of the Department of Work and Pensions. Visit www.dwp.gov.uk.