How to do a change of address for an NHS medical card

Written by steph cottam
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How to do a change of address for an NHS medical card
Personal medical records are identifiable by the unique number on your NHS card. (Getty Thinkstock)

The National Health Service (NHS) issues residents an NHS card, which details their name, address, the doctor with whom they're registered and their unique NHS number. This card is used for NHS administration purposes only. The NHS card is issued upon registration with your local health centre and gives your doctor details of your full medical history. Whether you move within a local area or move nationally, you will need to inform the NHS of your change of address, so it can keep your records up to date and have access to your medical records.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Inform your doctor's office, if you have moved locally. A staff member will ask you to complete your details on a "GMS1" form, which will allow her to update your records. She will ask you for your previous NHS medical card or your unique NHS number. Once this change has been made, she will send you a new medical card.

  2. 2

    Locate your nearest health centre using the local area phone book or the Internet, If you have moved nationally.

  3. 3

    Call the health centre and ask for a registration appointment with the administrator. You will need to explain that you have just moved into the area.

  4. 4

    Take your old NHS card with you to your appointment. If you have lost the card but know your unique NHS number, you will be OK, but take proof of identity with you. If you don't know your NHS number, the administrator can locate you using certain information you provide, including your full name and date of birth. Provide proof of your previous address, as well as proof of your identity.

  5. 5

    Complete a "GMS1" (Family Doctor Services Registration) form as part of the registration process. The health centre administrator may type the information directly into his computer to save time, or he may ask you to complete the form while you are there.

  6. 6

    Know all the details for your previous doctor, including her office address and postcode, as you will need to provide this information along with your NHS number.

Tips and warnings

  • Once you have registered your details with the health centre administrator, he will change your details in the NHS system, and a new NHS card will be sent to your new address.
  • To reduce costs, not all NHS authorities provide patients with an NHS card. You can ask them to make a note of your NHS number, which you can keep for future reference.

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