Adult social care privacy notice

Using of your NHS number in adult social care

If you are receiving support from adult social care in Southwark then the NHS may share your NHS number with adult social care.  This is so that the NHS and adult social care are using the same number to identify you.  By using the same number the NHS and adult social care can work together more closely to improve your care and support.

Your NHS number is accessed through an NHS service called the Personal Demographic Service (PDS).  Adult social care sends basic information such as your name, address and date of birth to the PDS in order to find your NHS Number. Once retrieved from the PDS the NHS Number is stored in the council’s adult social care case management system.

We will also use this number in an integrated care record system across a number of support services including GP’s, hospitals, community matrons, district nurses and social care practitioners.

How is the information kept safe

Your information is kept in the adult social care system in line with the council’s record retention policies.  These policies are based on the Data Protection Act 1998, Government record retention regulations and best practice.  Further information is available from

Southwark council is the data controller.

The council will share information only to provide health and social care professionals directly involved in your care access to the most up-to-date information about you.  Access to information is strictly controlled, based on the role of the professional.  For example, social workers will only have access to information that is relevant to the execution of their care duties.

The council’s data security and confidentiality policies ensure that your information is protected, and available only to staff directly involved in your care.  These policies are available on request.

What are the benefits

The addition of the NHS Number to social care data will bring the following benefits:

  • better coordinated and safer care across health and social care enabled through the sharing of real-time information
  • better coordination of discharges from hospital into social care
  • more time to spend on planning and coordinating social care because health staff can identify and involve social care staff earlier in the process
  • earlier intervention to maximise the opportunities or reablement services leading to greater independence for patients less paperwork and more efficient use of social care resources

​What happens if I don’t want the council to hold my NHS number

You have the right to object to the processing of your NHS Number in this way.  This will not stop you from receiving care, but may make it harder for the NHS and the council to work together. If you are worried about the council having your NHS number, talk to us about your concerns, and we can discuss the options you might have to manage your information.

If you wish to opt-out from the use of your NHS number for social care purposes, please talk with your social worker, or contact us on 020 7525 3661 or email

Page last updated: 23 August 2017