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You are here: Home Services & Applications Demographics Personal Demographics Service (PDS) What is on the PDS?

Information held on the PDS

The PDS only contains demographic details about a patient. No clinical or sensitive information is held on it.

PDS fields

Here are the fields involved and what each is for:

PDS field Description of data

NHS Number

The unique patient identifier.

Patient name

Including any previous names, aliases and preferred name, e.g. Chris rather than Christopher.

Date of birth

The patient's date of birth. Get more information on new births and the PDS.

Place of birth

The patient's place of birth.

Additional birth information

The delivery time and birth order for multiple births.

Date of death

The patient's date of death. Get more information on recording deaths on the PDS.

Death notification status

Indicates a formal death certificate has been issued for the patient and the death has been registered.


Administrative gender.


Includes main, temporary and correspondence addresses.

Alternative contacts

The patient's legal guardian, proxy, family/close contact.

Telecommunication contact details

Contact details such as telephone number, fax number and email address.

Preferred contact times

Patient's preferred contact times.

Preferred contact method

The patient's preferred contact method, e.g. telephone contact by proxy, no telephone contact, sign language required in face-to-face contact or minicom.

Preferred written communication format

Specialised patient contact requirements, e.g. large print, Braille, audio tape.

Preferred language

Information on patient's preferred language of communication.

Interpreter required

Indicates that the patient requires an interpreter.

NHS Care Record consent to share status

Indicates that the patient has agreed to share their health record.

Nominated dispensing contractor*

The patient's nominated dispensing contractor that could include a community pharmacy, dispensing appliance contractor and a dispensing doctor.

Reason for removal

Indicates that the patient is not registered with a GP.

Previous NHS contact indicator

Indicates that the patient confirms they have had previous NHS treatment. This allows the PDS National Back Office to check for a duplicate of a record.

Patient call-back consent status

Indicates that the patient is willing to be called back from a Choose & Book call-centre.

Shared secret

An encrypted password used to validate a patient's identity when contacted from a Choose & Book call-centre.

Sensitive record indicator

Indicates that either the record is not accessible to PDS users, or that the content of the record is being reviewed to ensure the data is correct.

Primary care

The GP Practice with whom the patient is registered.

Date of registration

The date the patient registered with the GP Practice.

Back office location

The back office location associated with the GP Practice where the patient is registered, used for the administration of primary care.

Serial change number

The mechanism for synchronising local and national records.

HealthSpace status

Indicates that the patient is registered to use HealthSpace.

NHAIS information

The PDS holds certain information to allow it to interact with the NHAIS system that administers primary care. This information is not routinely accessible by the NHS.