National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

National Health Service Central Register

National Health Service Central Register

Who has Access to the Register?

The Register is a confidential database, accessible only to a list of bodies approved by the Scottish Parliament. The information provided to these bodies is the minimum necessary for them to do their work. So, for example, local authorities are not provided with the restricted medical information on the Register.

These bodies, and the information which they are provided with, are:

Scottish NHS bodies - Health Boards, Special Health Boards, and the Common Services Agency

Any information.

Health authorities in the rest of the UK

Any information, except postcode and address reference code.

The departments which run the NHSCRs in the rest of the UK - the Office of National Statistics and the Northern Ireland Central Services Agency for the Health and Social Services

Any information, except postcode and address reference code.

A researcher conducting a medical research project

Any information about the patients in the research project.

Scottish local authorities

For people who have agreed to be added to the local authority’s database: NHS number, CHI number and any other information (except postcode and address reference code) which does not match the information provided to the local authority by the person.

The Ministry of Defence and the armed forces

The NHS numbers of armed forces personnel and their dependants.

Police forces in Scotland, England and Wales or Northern Ireland, the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency, the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency or the Security Service

Any information requested in relation to the prevention or detection of serious crime, to the apprehension or prosecution of those suspected of having committed such crime or to national security, except medical research information.

Any practising solicitor or charitable body.

The fact that an individual's information is contained on the register, or fact and date of death – for the purpose of tracing people who have lost touch with their families.