close menu

Do you know the difference between your NI and NHS number?

by Leanne Shrosbree | Nov 30, 2016
  • Every person in the UK who is registered with the NHS has a unique identifying number. This number helps healthcare staff and service providers match you to your health records to ensure that you receive more dependable and effective care.
  • NHS number

    What is an NHS number

    Not to be confused with your National Insurance (NI) number, the National Health Service (NHS) number is a unique 10-digit code issued to every person who uses the NHS for medical care.

    The number is displayed in the 3-3-4 format on medical cards and documents.

    Your NI number, on the other hand, has to do with identifying what tax code you are on in the UK. Read our guide on NI numbers to make sure you’re not paying too much tax.

    You can’t use your NI number to verify your details at an NHS service provider. Likewise, your NHS number can’t be used by HMRC to determine your tax liability.

    You will need to apply for these numbers separately.

    Safer, more efficient healthcare

    The National Health Service introduced the NHS number to identify patients and ensure that there aren’t any mix-ups. Using your code, healthcare staff at different service providers across the UK can easily link you to your healthcare records.

    The system is designed to ensure that patient records are up-to-date, test results are matched to the correct patient, medication is dispensed correctly and that correspondence reaches the right person.

    NHS number allocation

    Anyone who was born in or has registered with a GP’s practice in England, Wales or the Isle of Man since October 2002 has an NHS number.

    If you meet these criteria but don’t know your number, you can find it on one of the following:

      • Your medical card
      • A letter or document from the NHS or a service provider
      • A printed prescription

    Register for your NHS number

    Those who have never been registered with a GP practice in England, Wales or the Isle of Man, haven’t received NHS treatment and weren’t born in these countries, won’t have an NHS number.

    You can get an NHS number simply by registering with the GP practice in your area.

    Can I still get medical care if I don’t have it?

    You don’t need an NHS number to access healthcare and having one does not entitle you to use of the NHS.

    If you are moving to the UK from a country outside of the EEA, you will have to pay a healthcare surcharge before you can use the NHS.

    Whether it’s clearing up the difference between an NI and NHS number or helping you find a job or accommodation, 1st Contact Kickstart will simplify your move to the UK.

    Contact one of our consultants on +44 (0) 20 7759 7536 or pop us an email and we'll get back to you.

    • london-bus-ben
      Applying for your NI number: Don’t go it alone
      Jun 12, 2018  |  by Leanne Shrosbree
    • london-thames-big-ben
      10 reasons why London is still our favourite city
      May 04, 2018  |  by Leanne Shrosbree
    • man-working-at-home
      Get the most out of being a contractor in the UK by following these simple steps
      Mar 15, 2018  |  by 1st Contact
    • tax-hand-magnifying-glass
      Reap the benefits of submitting your Self Assessment tax return early
      Mar 02, 2018  |  by Kobus Van den Bergh
    • students-graduating
      UK student visas: Here's how you can get one
      Feb 22, 2018  |  by John Dunn
    • students-school-chalk-board
      Get your child into state-funded school in the UK
      Feb 21, 2018  |  by Leanne Shrosbree
    • medical-cross-and-heart
      The NHS vs Medicare: Which is better?
      Jan 30, 2018  |  by 1st Contact
    • big-ben-london-at-night
      What is the cost of living in London in 2018?
      Jan 25, 2018  |  by 1st Contact
    • house-key
      To rent in the UK, you absolutely need to have the right to rent
      Jan 19, 2018  |  by Leanne Shrosbree
    • man-making-more-money
      This is how contractors can take home more cash
      Jan 09, 2018  |  by Kobus Van den Bergh

    Do you like cookies? We do, read why.