Find your NHS Number service used by millions

NHS Digital has reported that an online service enabling people to look up their NHS number quickly and easily was used 4.6 million times in its first year.

An NHS number is a unique 10-digit number which helps healthcare staff identify people correctly and match their details to their health records. It can be found in most documents or letters sent from the NHS, as well as prescriptions. It can also be found through the NHS App and through some GP online services.

The Find your NHS Number service, set up by NHS Digital in February 2021, allows people to request their NHS number through a simple process on the NHS website. A total of 4.6 million notifications containing NHS numbers were sent – 3.7 million by text message, almost 557,000 by email and over 345,000 by letter.

The Find your NHS Number service has made it easier for people to complete forms and access services, such as booking a Covid-19 vaccination via the NHS website.

The service has also reduced the workload for GP practice staff, as previously the main way to find out an NHS number was through GP practices – so it has additionally cut the number of journeys people had to make, reducing carbon.

James Hawkins, Executive Director of Product Delivery at NHS Digital, said: “This is a fantastic, simple and user-friendly service which has brought benefits to millions of people since it was launched last year. Not only has it made it easier for people to book appointments and supported the roll-out of the Covid vaccination, it has also reduced the burden on GP practices. In addition, with less than 10 per cent of notifications sent by letter, the service is as carbon neutral as possible and is contributing to our sustainability goals.”

Latest figures show that the service has been used to notify people of NHS numbers 5.5 million times between 1 February 2021 and 18 April this year.

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