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NHS care requires people to register with the service and claim an NHS number. Most people who have lived in the UK since birth or a significant length of time will likely not have needed to know their offhand, however. Thankfully, it is relatively straightforward for most NHS patients to find one.
How can you find your NHS number?
NHS numbers, unique to everyone receiving care on the service in the UK, allow healthcare staff to identify patients.
The number is a string of 10-digits and gives providers access to details and health records.
The NHS has provided people with several possible avenues to find their number.
Official documentation, such as correspondence with the NHS, is the first port of call for an NHS number.
Letters to a patients’ home regarding treatment or services should include their NHS number.
Relevant correspondence includes:
- Test results
- Hospital referral letters
- Appointment letters
Those who prefer to navigate their NHS services online can do it on there too.
The NHS app should provide people with their number, which people will need to register with if they have not used it before.
Some, but not all GPs will also have their own online services, which should also include an option to see details such as their NHS number.
Surgeries should also provide an NHS number if asked in-person or over the phone, although this will require proof of identity.
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How to get an NHS number
Some people may find they do not have an NHS number, but need one for treatment in the UK.
Anyone registered with an NHS service in England, Wales or the Isle of Man should already have one.
Those born in the UK will have had the number, which is valid for life, assigned to them at birth.
People who don’t get a number at birth will receive them the first time they get NHS care.
Anyone who has never received NHS care or treatment will need to register with a GP to get one.
The registration process will assign them a number provided it progresses smoothly.
Once completed and approved, they will receive a reference letter in the post with the number on it.
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