We have detected that you are using Internet Explorer to visit this website. Internet Explorer is now being phased out by Microsoft. As a result, NHS Digital no longer supports any version of Internet Explorer for our web-based products, as it involves considerable extra effort and expense, which cannot be justified from public funds. Some features on this site will not work. You should use a modern browser such as Edge, Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. If you have difficulty installing or accessing a different browser, contact your IT support team.
Use this API to access the Personal Demographics Service (PDS), the national electronic database of NHS patient details such as name, address, date of birth, related people, registered GP and NHS number.
search for patients
check that you have the correct NHS number for a patient
get patient details
create a new record for a birth
receive birth notifications
create a record for a new patient (except for GPs - see below)
You should not use this API to create a new record when registering a new patient at a GP Practice. Instead, use National Health Application and Infrastructure Services (NHAIS).
You can retrieve current and historical demographic information for a patient including:
related people, such as next of kin
Who can use this API
This API can only be used where there is a legal basis to do so. Make sure you have a valid use case before you go too far with your development. To do this, make a PDS access request.
You must do this before you can go live (see ‘Onboarding’ below).
The following APIs also give access to the Personal Demographics Service:
For some activities, the end user must be authorised to perform that activity.
The API itself does not perform any authorisation checks. Rather, the calling system is expected to perform them. The authorisation rules are specified in our national Role Based Access Control (RBAC) database.
For more details see:
the PDS Integration Requirements document in the 'additional guidance' section below
the RBAC guidance document in the 'additional guidance' section below