What is updating NHS records?
Changing your name, title, or gender on your NHS records.
How long does updating NHS records last?
This is a permanent change but can be done more than once.
How do I update my NHS records?
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:
- in England, on the PCSE website (search for “How should I advise PCSE of a patient gender re-assignment?” and “A transgender patient registered at our practice would like to change their registered name”)
- in Wales, on the GPOne website
- in Scotland, on the NHS National Services Scotland website
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 will be assigned a new NHS number in England and Wales, or assigned a new CHI number in Sctoland.
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:
In Scotland, you will normally be invited to the correct tests automatically (unless the gender marker on your records was changed before 2016). You can read more about testing in Scotland on the NHS Inform website.
Where can I learn more?
You can read more detailed information about updating your NHS details on the DMC blog.
Errors and omissions
Is there something missing from this page? Have you spotted something that isn't correct? Please tweet us or message us on Facebook to let us know, or file an issue on GitHub.