The NHS Number is the national unique patient identifier; it is made up of
10-digits and is allocated to everyone registered with the NHS in England and
Wales. The current format for displaying NHS Numbers is the 3-3-4 format (e.g.
123 456 7890) which was introduced in 1996.
From October 2002, every baby
born in England and Wales has been issued with their own NHS Number from birth.
The NHS Number ensures that each patient is uniquely identifiable to NHS
staff, not only helping staff to correctly identify them but to locate their
health records quickly & efficiently leading to improved and safer
NHS patients can obtain their NHS number from the GP
practice they are registered with.