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What is the NHS Number?

Everyone registered with the NHS in England, Wales and the Isle of Man has a unique patient identifier called NHS Number. Most GP practices will send you a letter containing your NHS Number when you register with them.

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.

Each NHS Number is made up of 10 digits shown in a 3-3-4 format, usually as follows (example only):

Example of a 10 digit NHS Number

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.

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.

The first time you register with a GP practice, you will receive a GP registration letter which will confirm your NHS Number. If you can't find your NHS Number at home, your GP practice should be able to help you.

Note: medical cards are no longer issued in England. If you still have one it may have an old-style NHS Number made-up of both letters and numbers. However, in recent years this has been replaced for all patients with an NHS Number made containing only numbers (as shown in the example above).

You can find you NHS number in the following ways:

1) Prescriptions issued by GP surgery computers have your number below your name and address at the top

2) You can obtain your number by attending the Surgery with proof of identity.  For your protection, we cannot disclose NHS numbers by phone or email.

3) You can also ask NHS England, who can be contacted on :

0300 311 22 33 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, excluding English Bank Holidays)

Address :
PO Box 16738
B97 9PT


Please note, your NHS Number is different from your National Insurance (NI) number, which is used for tax, benefits and pensions. If you have any questions about your NI number, contact your local office of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).



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