This information standard sets out the scope and use of the NHS Number, which is the unique identifier for a patient within the NHS in England and Wales. There is an overarching standard, supplemented by two use cases for how the standard should be used in general practice and secondary care
About this standard
- NHS Digital
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Active standards are stable, maintained and have been assured or endorsed for use by qualified bodies.
Standards in development are APIs or API standards in alpha or beta, meaning they are available for use but are still in progress and may change.
Deprecated standards are older versions of a standard which are being phased out.
Retired standards are not being maintained and should not be used.
- Standard type
- Data definitions and terminologies
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Record standards define what information to collect and how to format it, for example when registering a new patient.
Data definitions and terminologies define the format of individual data items so they can be consistently represented, for example dates or medication names. Reference sets and controlled lists are also included.
Technical standards and specifications specify how to make information available technically including how the data is structured and transported.
Information codes of practice are legal or best practice guidelines on how information should be handled.
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Topics and care settings
- Appointment / scheduling
- Access to records
- Continuity of care (ToC)
- Key care information
- Patient communication
- Care setting
- Community health
- Mental health
- GP / Primary care
- Urgent and Emergency Care
Dependencies and related standards
No known dependencies
- Related standards
- ISB 0149-01 NHS Number for General Practice
- ISB 0149-02 NHS Number for Secondary Care
- ISB 0086 Information Governance Toolkit
- ISB 1512 Information Governance Standards Framework
- ISB 1572 Sensitive Data
- ISB 1077 AIDC for Patient Identification
- ISB 1555 NHS Number for Babies
Assurance and endorsements
- Reference code for standards issued as requirements in England
- Quality assurance
This standard has been approved by the Information Standards Board (legacy) and published as an information standard notice (ISN).
- Not applicable