Use of the NHS Number across the NHS
Your NHS Number is unique to you and is the only national identifier used to help our staff match patients to their health records. Everyone registered with the NHS in England and Wales has their own unique NHS Number.

Do I need my NHS Number to get care?
No, it is not essential to know your NHS Number, but it is very helpful so NHS staff that need to find your health records.

What is my 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 a unique 10 digit number.
An example of an NHS Number is 123 456 7890.
An NHS Number used for patients’ care links all their records together, creating a fuller, more accurate health history for that patient.

Is my NHS Number the same as my NI Number?
No, your NHS Number is different from your National Insurance (NI) number, which is used for tax and pensions.
If you are registered with a GP practice, you will already have an NHS Number.
To find out your NHS Number you can contact your GP practice. To protect your privacy, they may ask you to show them a passport, driving licence or some other proof of identity. If you want to know your NHS Number you can also follow this link.

If you have never registered with a GP practice, you will not have an NHS Number
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.
To find your nearest GP practice visit NHS Choices website - select ‘GP’ and enter your postcode.

If you are visiting the country for less than three months
If you are a visitor, you will not be given a permanent NHS Number. More information on overseas visitors using the NHS is available here.

If you have recently had a baby
Babies born in hospital in England and Wales are given an NHS Number soon after birth.

Why is the NHS Number important to me?
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 also helps to reduce the creation of multiple records for a patient. Multiple records can cause a patient’s medical history to be held across many files, making it more difficult for hospital staff to access patients’ history efficiently.
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.
As an added measure, you can start checking any post the NHS may send you to make sure they have the right NHS Number.

Where can I find further information on the NHS Number?
If you want to find out more about the NHS Number, please refer to the NHS Number Website.