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Online tool to find your NHS number without contacting your GP

You’ve probably seen references to your NHS number before and wondered what exactly that number is – and what exactly it’s for.

If this is the case, then don’t worry – you’re certainly not alone in wondering. But your NHS number, in fact, plays an important role for your healthcare providers.

So what exactly is your NHS number, what is it used for, and where can you find it?

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What is my NHS number?

Your NHS number is a 10-digit number that’s unique to you. It makes it easier for healthcare providers and staff to identify you, matching your details to your personal health record.

However, the fact that you have an NHS number doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re entitled to use all NHS services without having to pay at the point of use.

Some NHS services in England require patients to make financial contributions – over and above taxation – towards the cost of their treatment.

Your NHS number is not the same thing as your National Insurance number, which is used for tax and pensions.

What do you need your NHS number for?

Your NHS number is a unique patient identifier, so it helps healthcare staff match individual patients to their specific health records.

Otherwise, you don’t need to worry about your NHS number too much. It can sometimes be helpful for you to know your NHS number, but it’s not essential.

You should never be denied NHS care on the basis that you can’t remember your NHS number.

Where can I find my NHS number?

Your NHS number will be included in most correspondence sent to you by the health service, including referral letters, appointment letters, test results and prescriptions.

If you don’t have any of these to hand, you can use the NHS’s online tool to find your NHS number.

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