Cookies policy

The NHS website and other services on www.nhs.uk, such as Change4Life, use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on the website.

If you continue without changing your settings, we will accept your consent to receive these cookies.

However, if you wish to, you can change your browser settings to block or remove cookies at any time. Go to www.ico.org.uk for information on how to do this.

Cookies information

Cookies – small information files placed on your device – are used to improve services for you by, for example:

  • enabling the service to recognise your device so you do not need to give the same information repeatedly
  • recognising when you have already given a username and password so that you do not need to do so for every subsequent web page you visit
  • improving services we provide by providing you with a personalised journey, where applicable
  • measuring how many people are using the services we provide, so we can make them easier and faster to use
  • analysing data, anonymously, to help us understand how people interact with government services

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your computer, mobile phone or whatever device you are using to access the internet. This information is held in cookies. You can learn more about cookies from the GOV.UK guidance on cookies.

For more information about how to remove cookies from your device, or how to block individual cookies from being received, please see the instructions and guidance at www.ico.org.uk.

See below for further details about cookies you may encounter while visiting the NHS website and associated services such as Change4Life. These details include what information is being held, how long you can expect it to be stored, and how your experience of our website will change if you block individual cookies from being sent to your device.

First-party cookies

Name: ASP.NET_SessionID
Description: This cookie is set to ensure the user does not have any disruption to their user experience while accessing the NHS website. This cookie holds no personal information; it helps us provide our users with an uninterrupted journey through the website
Lifespan: Session
Domain: nhs.uk

Name: cookie
Description: This cookie is set to ensure the user does not have any disruption to their user experience while accessing the NHS website. This cookie holds no personal information; it helps us provide our users with an uninterrupted journey through the website
Lifespan: Session
Domain: nhs.uk

Name: WFE
Description: Used to establish a connection to the web server. The cookie does not gather any personal information about you
Lifespan: Session
Domain: nhs.uk

Name: _smokefree_session
Description: Used to establish a connection to the web server. The cookie does not gather any personal information about you
Lifespan: Session
Domain: nhs.uk

Name: Dassignup.dismiss
Description: On pages that offer sign-up to the Information Service for Parents, if a user selects not to display the "Sign up for free pregnancy and baby emails" pop-up after their first visit, this cookie is used to stop the pop-up being displayed to the user again
Lifespan: Up to 3 years
Domain: nhs.uk

Name: is_returning
Description: Used to establish a connection to the web server and identifies whether the user is a repeat user. The cookie does not gather any personal information about you
Lifespan: Up to 4 years
Domain: nhs.uk

Name: nhs_heartage
Description: Maintains form inputs within the Heart Age tool so as to restore them should a user navigate away from the tool and then return. On reload form fields are refilled, results recalculated and the cookie deleted. If the user continues to interact with the tool a new cookie is created and the process repeats. The reset button at the end of the tool also clears the cookie
Lifespan: Session
Domain: nhs.uk

Name: ASP.NET_SessionId
Description: Used for maintaining a user's session
Lifespan: Session
Domain: nhs.uk (Symptom checkers)

Name: website#lang
Description: States that the page is in the English language
Lifespan: Session
Domain: nhs.uk (Symptom checkers)

Name: cp_session
Description: For webchat – stores specific user data including session ID, answers viewed, number of searches, previously viewed answers, previous searches and previously seen email
Lifespan: Session
Domain: nhs.uk (Symptom checkers)

Name: cp_profile
Description: For webchat – user profile token to identify the user
Lifespan: Session
Domain: nhs.uk (Symptom checkers)

Name: cp_login_start
Description: For webchat – a temporary cookie to check if cookies are enabled
Lifespan: Session
Domain: nhs.uk (Symptom checkers)

Name: oauth_token
Description: For webchat – used as authentication token when users use oauth login
Lifespan: Session
Domain: nhs.uk (Symptom checkers)

Name: rnw_ma_login
Description: For webchat – identifies users who have previously filled out a marketing form so that the next form can be pre-filled with known information
Lifespan: Session
Domain: nhs.uk (Symptom checkers)

Name: rnw_enduser_login
Description: For webchat – needed for some site logins
Lifespan: Session
Domain: nhs.uk (Symptom checkers)

Name: rnw_survey_login
Description: For webchat – keeps track of the last page that a user has submitted in a survey
Lifespan: Session
Domain: nhs.uk (Symptom checkers)

Name: noChat
Description: For webchat – to control whether a user should receive a webchat invitation
Lifespan: Session
Domain: nhs.uk (Symptom checkers)

Name: CHAT_SESSION_ID
Description: For webchat – allows reconnection to the current chat session in the event of a system/browser crash
Lifespan: Session
Domain: nhs.uk (Symptom checkers)

Name: JSESSIONID
Description: For webchat – maintains ongoing session with the chat cloud
Lifespan: Session
Domain: nhs.uk (Symptom checkers)

Name: org-pref
Description: This cookie stores the identity of an organisation that you select as a preferred service, such as your GP surgery. This allows us to present details of your chosen service where these may be helpful when you next visit the NHS website
Lifespan: 6 months
Domain: nhs.uk

Name: geolocation
Description: This cookie stores information about your location, such as latitude/longitude, postcode and place name. It helps us to present information that’s relevant to you
Lifespan: 6 months
Domain: nhs.uk

Name: NHSChoicesCookies
Description: On the "Stay well this winter" campaign's page, this cookie is used to stop the cookie message being displayed to you again after you clicked on the "close" icon in the cookie message
Lifespan: 270 days
Domain: nhs.uk (Stay well this winter campaign)

Name: nextgen_session
Description: We analyse information to see what is most effective about our website and associated services to help us identify ways to improve it and to make it more effective. We may also use this information for other purposes, which we would describe to you at the point when we collect the information
Lifespan: Session
Domain: nhs.uk

Name: optimizelyEndUserId
Description: This cookie stores a visitor's unique Optimizely identifier, for Optimizely X Web. It's a combination of a timestamp and random number. No other information about you or your visitors is stored inside. The cookie does not contain any personal information. For more information please read the Optimizely privacy policy
Lifespan: 6 months
Domain: nhs.uk, beta.nhs.uk

Name: optimizelyRedirectData
Description: After Optimizely X Web has executed a redirect experiment the cookie stores various data from the original page so that Optimizely still has access to it on the new page. This information is all non personally identifiable information
Lifespan: 5 seconds
Domain: nhs.uk, beta.nhs.uk

Third-party cookies

Name: _utma
Description: The _utma cookie is part of Google analytics, and is primarily used to track visits to any site which uses Google analytics. _utma stores the number of visits made from your device, the time of the first visit, the previous visit, and the current visit. This cookie does not contain any personal information other than the IP address of your device. For more information read Google's privacy policy.
Lifespan: Session
Domain: Google.com, nhs.uk

Name: _utmb
Description: The_utmb cookie is part of Google analytics, and is primarily used to track visits to any site which uses Google analytics. _utmb stores the number of visits made from your device, the time of the first visit, the previous visit, and the current visit. This cookie does not contain any personal information other than the IP address of your device. For more information read Google's privacy policy.
Lifespan: Session
Domain: Google.com, nhs.uk

Name: _utmc
Description: The _utmc cookie is part of Google analytics and is used to check approximately how long you stay on any site that uses Google analytics: when a visit starts and approximately ends. This cookie does not contain any personal information other than the IP address of your device. For more information read Google's privacy policy.
Lifespan: Session
Domain: Google.com, nhs.uk

Name: _utmt
Description: The _utmv cookie is part of Google analytics. It contains no specific customer data other than the IP address of your device, but is used to record custom variables for segmentation. For more information read Google's privacy policy.
Lifespan: Session
Domain: Google.com, nhs.uk

Name: _utmz
Description: The _utmv cookie is part of Google analytics. It contains no specific customer data other than the IP address of your device, but is used to record Custom variables for segmentation. For more information read Google's privacy policy.
Lifespan: Session
Domain: Google.com, nhs.uk

Name: Acookie
Description: ACOOKIE is a Webtrends optimisation third-party cookie. The NHS website has a third-party relationship with Webtrends which acts on its behalf. Data contained in this cookie includes visitor identifier (not personal details); which of our websites was visited; the time of last visit to one of our websites and the time of this visit. This allows us to understand how recently your device was used to access our website. IP address is recorded if a user enters their postcode and date of birth. For more information read the Webtrends privacy policy.
Lifespan: Up to 2 years
Domain: *.webtrendslive.com, nhs.uk

Name: WT_FPC
Description: WT_FPC is a Webtrends optimisation third party cookie. The NHS website has a third party relationship with Webtrends which acts on its behalf. The purpose of this cookie is to identify the visitor and the session to allow us to track usage of our websites so we can improve them. Data contained in the cookie includes a visitor ID which is anonymous, and the times of start and end of the visit. IP address is recorded if a user enters their postcode and date of birth. For more information read the Webtrends privacy policy.
Lifespan: Up to 2 years
Domain: *.webtrendslive.com, nhs.uk

Name: Videosurvey, _tmid
Description: Videos viewed on the NHS website are hosted and supplied (streamed) to users by a third party company named Brightcove. A product called TubeMogul is used by Brightcove to record how much of a video is watched. It uses an anonymous tracking cookie and stores no personal data. For more information, see the Brightcove privacy policy and the TubeMogul privacy policy.
Lifespan: Session
Domain: tubemogul.com; brightcove.com; llnwd.net

Name: PREF
Description: The NHS website uses Google Analytics cookies to record information about which pages you have landed on and how you have navigated through the site. This data enables us to understand:

  • which pages people visit on the service
  • which internet browsers are being used
  • what pages or features are popular
  • which interactive tools are used

The information gathered is not shared with any third party. For more information read Google's privacy policy.
Lifespan: Up to 2 years
Domain: Google.com, nhs.uk

Name: _ga, _gat
Description: The NHS website uses Google Analytics cookies to record information about which pages you have landed on and how you have navigated through the site. This data enables us to understand:

  • which pages people visit on the service
  • which internet browsers are being used
  • what pages or features are popular
  • which interactive tools are used

The information gathered is not shared with any third party. Additionally, we use a Google Translate API cookie to store your translation preferences for a specific page should you choose to use the translation service on the NHS website. For more information read Google's privacy policy.
Lifespan: Up to 2 years
Domain: nhs.uk, google.com

Name: DoubleClickID
Description: Ad server tags from DoubleClick are used to understand how people engage with government digital media campaigns. This functionality allows the NHS website to track clicks on adverts, such as the sponsored links found when you search for a subject on Google. For more information read Google's privacy policy.
Lifespan: Up to 6 months
Domain: *.doubleclick.net

Name: id, b3_1d, b3_7d, mdata, gookie, OAX
Description: Saves information on how you reach and interact with a page. The cookies can also control the display and selection of adverts on the site you came from. For example, if you've already visited a page, you may be more likely to see an advert for it. It also provides site optimisation, reporting and attribution modelling. For more information read the MIG privacy policy and the Xaxis privacy policy and learn how to opt out of this tracking.
Lifespan: Up to 13 months
Domain: b3-uk.mookie1.com, mookie1.com, xaxis.com, themig.com

Name: NSC_xxxxxx_xxxx_xxxx
Description: This is a pattern type cookie with the root being NSC_ and the rest of the name being a unique encrypted alpha numeric identifier for the virtual server it originated from. The cookie is used to ensure traffic and user data is routed to the correct locations where a site is hosted on multiple servers, so that the end user has a consistent experience. For more information read the MIG privacy policy and learn how to opt out of this tracking.
Lifespan: Session
Domain: b3-uk.mookie1.com

Name: d, qoo
Description: Ad server tags from Quantserve are used to understand how people engage with government digital media campaigns. This functionality allows the NHS website to track clicks on adverts, such as the sponsored links found when you search for a subject on Google. Please see the Quantcast privacy policy for more information, and to learn how to opt out of this tracking.
Lifespan: Session
Domain: nhs.uk, Quantserve.com

Name: *.fls.doubleclick.net
Description: Ad server tags from DoubleClick are used to understand how people engage with government digital media campaigns. This functionality allows the NHS website to track clicks on adverts, such as the sponsored links found when you search for a subject on Google. For more information read Google's privacy policy
Lifespan: Up to 6 months
Domain: *.doubleclick.net

Name: TDID
Description: Stores TTD's unique id for a user
Lifespan: Up to 1 year
Domain: adsrvr.org

Name: uuid, uuidc, mt_misc, mt_mop, HRL8
Description: MediaMath uses this information to target ads and measure the effectiveness of ads on behalf of MediaMath’s advertisers.
Lifespan: Up to 13 months
Domain: mathtag.com

Name: uuid, OL8U
Description: MediaMath uses this information to target ads and measure the effectiveness of ads on behalf of MediaMath’s advertisers.
Lifespan: Up to 1 year
Domain: imiclk.com

Name: uuid2, Sess, Icu, Anj
Description: AppNexus uses the information to provide, operate, manage, maintain, and enhance the platform.
Lifespan: Up to 18 months
Domain: adnxs.com

Name: tuuid
Description: Records the user's page visit
Lifespan: 2 years
Domain: adbrn.com

Name: ADRUM
Description: We analyse information to check the performance of our website and associated services to help us identify ways to improve it and to make it more effective.
Lifespan: Session
Domain: nhs.uk, .appdynamics.com

Name: hjClosedSurveyInvites
Description: This cookie is set once a visitor interacts with a Survey invitation modal pop-up. It is used to ensure that the same invite does not re-appear if it has already been shown.
Lifespan: 365 days
Domain: hotjar.com

Name: _hjDonePolls
Description: This cookie is set once a visitor completes a Poll using the Feedback Poll widget. It is used to ensure that the same Poll does not re-appear if it has already been filled in.
Lifespan: 365 days
Domain: hotjar.com

Name: _hjMinimizedPolls
Description: This cookie is set once a visitor minimizes a Feedback Poll widget. It is used to ensure that the widget stays minimized when the visitor navigates through your site.
Lifespan: 365 days
Domain: hotjar.com

Name: _hjDoneTestersWidgets
Description: This cookie is set once a visitor submits their information in the Recruit User Testers widget. It is used to ensure that the same form does not re-appear if it has already been filled in.
Lifespan: 365 days
Domain: hotjar.com

Name: _hjMinimizedTestersWidgets
Description: This cookie is set once a visitor minimizes a Recruit User Testers widget. It is used to ensure that the widget stays minimized when the visitor navigates through your site.
Lifespan: 365 days
Domain: hotjar.com

Name: _hjDoneSurveys
Description: This cookie is set once a visitor completes a survey. It is used to only load the survey content if the visitor hasn't completed the survey yet.
Lifespan: 365 days
Domain: hotjar.com

Name: _hjIncludedInSample
Description: This session cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether that visitor is included in the sample which is used to generate funnels.
Lifespan: 365 days
Domain: hotjar.com

Name: _hjShownFeedbackMessage
Description: This cookie is set when a visitor minimizes or completes Incoming Feedback. This is done so that the Incoming Feedback will load as minimized immediately if they navigate to another page where it is set to show.
Lifespan: 365 days
Domain: hotjar.com

Name: NREUM, NRAGENT, JSESSIONID
Description: We analyse information to see what is most effective about our website and associated services to help us identify ways to improve it and to make it more effective. Please see New Relic cookies for more details.
Lifespan: Session
Domain: nhs.uk, newrelic.com

Page last reviewed: 29/10/2014
Next review due: 29/10/2017