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Updating NHS patient details

What is updating NHS patient details?

Changing your name, title, or gender on your NHS records.

What does updating NHS patient details do?

How long does updating NHS patient details last?

This is a permanent change but can be done more than once.

How do I update my NHS patient details?

You can change your name, title, or gender with the NHS at any time you like by telling your GP surgery.

Most GP surgeries will be able to update your details if you ask at reception. However, some GP surgeries may be unsure of the procedure for how to do it. You may find it helpful to give them these links which explain how they can update your details:

If your GP surgery is still unhappy to do this, or request a Gender Recognition Certificate before making a change, you may wish to show your GP the General Medical Council guidance on this issue.

What happens next?

The NHS has multiple different systems that store details about patients. Most of these will be automatically updated when you tell your GP surgery, but you may find some hospitals or other NHS services are not automatically updated, and you may have to tell them as well.

Each NHS system is different and able to hold different information about titles (or lack of title) and about the gender of the patient.

In most NHS systems there are gender options for not only male and female, but often also a “not specified” marker which may be useful if you do not wish to have male or female recorded.

Usually, when you change your gender marker, you are also assigned a new NHS number. This means that records from before your change in gender marker are kept separately, to protect your privacy.

What should I be aware of?


Changing gender marker may affect whether you are invited to important medical screening tests that you still need. Read the whole of this page to ensure you still receive the correct tests.

During your life the NHS will invite you to a number of screening tests for common conditions. As the prevalence of these conditions is different for men and women, some tests only invite people who have “female” on their NHS record, and some tests only invite people who have “male” on their NHS record. This can mean people who have changed their gender marker can invited to the wrong tests for the body parts they have.

When you change your NHS gender marker, you should remember that you may not receive reminders for the tests you need, and may have to ask for them yourself. You can read more about screening tests and which tests you might need:

Errors and omissions

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