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Your NHS Number

Each NHS Number is a unique 10-digit number which is printed on your NHS medical card or will from now on be written on any communication you have had from the NHS.

Your NHS Number will usually be displayed in a 3-3-4 format or in a display format, as shown below.

Some older medical cards include an old-style NHS Number, which consists of both numbers and letters. Although having an old-style NHS Number will not affect the NHS care provided to you, the old-style numbers have now been replaced with the new-style format as shown above.

This new 10-digit string of numbers was introduced in 1996 to replace a variety of inconsistence predecessors. You can find out your 10 digit NHS Number by either contacting the GP you are registered with, or by contacting your local Primary Care Trust (PCT).

The NHS Number acts as the key to unlocking services such as Choose and Book and the Electronic Prescription Service.

NHS patients do not need to know their NHS Number to receive NHS care, however, if you do know your NHS Number or can show your medical card or other documentation containing your NHS Number when you present to an NHS provider, this can help those treating you to find your records more quickly and share them more safely with other healthcare professionals providing you care.

As an added safety measure, it is also helpful for you to check any correspondence you receive from a care provider to make sure services are using the right NHS Number for you.