Everyone who is registered with the NHS in England and Wales has their own unique NHS Number. You will be given your NHS Number in writing, when you register with a GP.
Your NHS Number helps healthcare staff to find your health records. Each NHS Number is made up of 10 digits shown in a 3-3-4 format (e.g. 111-111-1111).
If you have an old medical card, it will have an old-style NHS Number made up of both letters and numbers. This has now been replaced, for all patients, by an NHS Number made up entirely of numbers.
The 10-digit NHS Number was created specifically to help make it easier for patients to be uniquely identified across the NHS. The first nine digits are used to identify you and the 10th is used to confirm that the number is valid. This 10-digit number was introduced in 1996 (replacing the older version) to improve accuracy, access to information and confidentiality. If you are are registered with GP, you can telephone your practice to ask for your number – you may be asked for some identification (for instance, your passport or driving licence).