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Know your NHS number

Most of us know our home postcode and can remember our PIN numbers for the cash machine, but do you know your NHS number? Although you don't need to give your number to get NHS care, it can sometimes be helpful to give it to NHS staff who need to find your health records.
Nurse filling out a form

Everyone registered with the NHS in England and Wales has a unique ten digit NHS number.

This consists of three numbers, followed by three more, and then four numbers at the end.

You may have an old style NHS number on your medical card which contains both letters and numbers. This style has been replaced for all NHS patients with a new version made up of only numbers.

Having an old style NHS number will not affect your care, but it is important that you find out your new number.

Why is my NHS number important?

  • Your NHS number is unique to you.
  • It helps to create a complete record of your care across NHS organisations.
  • It allows your healthcare information to be safely transferred and accessible to other NHS organisations, for example if you need hospital treatment when you are away from home.
  • It allows the NHS to identify you correctly, which is important for your patient safety.

How can I find out my NHS number?

If you are registered with a GP (family doctor):

Your NHS number is printed on your medical card given to you when you register with a GP.

If you do not know your number, or have an old style number, contact your GP practice.

If you are not registered with a GP:

If you are not registered with a GP you will not have an NHS number.

You will need to contact your local primary care trust.  NHS West Sussex is the primary care trust for the West Sussex area and you can contact us in a number of different ways.

If you live outside West Sussex, you can search for your primary care trust on the NHS Choices website or call 0845 46 47.