NHS Number

Peter Tomlinson pwt at iosis.co.uk
Fri Jan 7 16:56:49 GMT 2011

Well, in late 2006 we were going to start on a 15 year programme to 
cross reference the IPS (ultimately it would be the ID card) database 
and the NI database (and have a new, common biometric database), and I 
never heard mention of the NHS database being involved - but last year I 
heard that DWP had become merely a client of Home Office . Now we have 
the G-digital programme, jointly run by Directgov (part of Cabinet 
Office) and DoH, which appears to be intending to use bank cards for 
secure online identification (eID)...

I'm sure that that doesn't help...


On 07/01/2011 13:00, Roger Hird wrote:
> This may be OT - but it may be relevant to some discussions in
> this forum.  It is about NHS numbers and whether they need to be
> treated as confidential.
> I rang the 0800 helpline of a NHS national screening programme,
> to query whether some results had been posted to me.
> They asked for my NHS number.  I started to quote the number I
> have had since birth - a "number" of the form AAAA 123 - and was
> told "that's an old number". My full name, date of birth and
> postcode, however, allowed them to answer my query.  I asked how
> I could track down my new number and they simply gave it to me
> over the phone - it's now just a 10 figure number. I noted it was
> a reference number my GP practice had been putting on their
> letters to me but not identified as my NHS number.
> So I was given my NHS number by simply giving my full name,
> address and date of birth. I could have quoted anything of the
> right format as my "old" number.
> As I remember it the NHS number base was not so long ago seen as
> the nearest thing we had to a comprehensive national identity
> database. Should not these numbers be treated with more care?
> Mind you, I'm pretty sure no-one ever told me mine had even
> changed.
> RogerH

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