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You are here: Home Services & Applications Demographics Personal Demographics Service (PDS)

The Personal Demographics Service

The Personal Demographics Service (PDS) is the national electronic database of NHS patient demographic details such as name, address, date of birth and NHS Number.

How it works

The PDS enables a patient to be readily identified by healthcare staff quickly and accurately.

  • The PDS does not hold any clinical or sensitive data items such as ethnicity or religion. The PDS is a component part of the Spine.
  • The Spine is the name given to the national databases of key information about patients' health and care.
  • The Spine also supports other key programmes such as Choose and Book and the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS), each of them using the Spine's messaging capabilities as part of their own services.
  • Information on the PDS is held nationally and accessed by authorised healthcare professionals through their organisation's local system.

How can I view or change my own record on PDS?

You can ask to see your records where you are treated, at your GP, hospital or clinic. You will need to follow the procedures laid out by the Data Protection Act and make an application in writing or, if that's not possible, by some alternative method.  You may also have to pay a small charge. If you see any errors or incorrect information on your records, you should let your GP practice know.