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Find your NHS number service privacy policy

Our purposes

NHS Digital have been asked by the Secretary of State to establish a digital service to provide people with access to their NHS number. In order to provide this service we need to collect and process your personal data to verify your identity and provide you with access to your NHS number.

The Service allows you to:

  • request your NHS number
  • make a request on behalf of another person for them to find out their NHS number

The NHS number will only ever be sent to the person it is registered to using the contact details held in our records.

How we obtain your personal data

NHS Digital will use the information you provide when using the service to match you to information held in the Personal Demographics Service (PDS). PDS is the national electronic database of NHS patient details such as name, address, date of birth and NHS number (known as demographic information). NHS Digital is the Controller and operates PDS as part of the Spine under direction from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

Data will be collected by NHS Digital to support the management of the Find your NHS number service and to assist with the service evaluation.

Types of personal data we process

Data used to find your NHS number include:

  • first name
  • last name
  • postcode

Data collected to support evaluation and management reporting include:

  • NHS number
  • name
  • postcode
  • date of birth

Who we share your personal data with

We will use the GOV.UK Notify email, SMS and postal service to send your NHS number. This is operated by the Cabinet Office as our Processor. The only personal data we share to use this service is your first and last name and NHS number, along with your email address, phone number or postal address, depending on your selected contact preference. For more information about the GOV.UK Notify email service, please see their privacy policy.

How long we keep your personal data for

We will retain your personal data for as long as is necessary for the purpose outlined above in accordance with the Records Management Code of Practice for Health and Social Care 2016 and NHS Digital’s Records Management Policy.

Other organisations with whom we share your personal data have obligations to keep it for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which we have shared your personal data. Information about this will be provided in their transparency or privacy notices, which are published on their websites.

Where we store the data

NHS Digital only stores and processes your personal data for this service within the United Kingdom.

Your rights over your personal data

To read more about the health and care information NHS Digital collects, our legal basis for collecting this information and what choices and rights you have, see how we look after you health and care information, our general transparency notice and our Coronavirus (COVID-19) response transparency notice.

We may make changes to this transparency notice. If we do, the ‘last updated’ date at the top of the notice will also change. Any changes to this notice will apply immediately from the date of any change.

Page last reviewed: 20 January 2021
Next review due: 20 January 2024