New births are registered on the Personal Demographics Service (PDS). The PDS is part of the NHS Spine. This ensures that babies are issued with an NHS Number that is immediately available to organisations involved in the ongoing provision and recording of their care.
Midwifery staff will use one of two methods to register a birth:
- If they are using a PDS-compliant system, they will register the birth directly onto the PDS. This replaces the NHS Number for Babies (NN4B) service, which was decommissioned in early 2015.
- If they are using a non-PDS compliant system, they will use the Birth Notification Application (BNA) to register the birth onto the PDS. The BNA replaces the former Interim NHS Numbering Service (INNS). This was decommissioned in early 2015.
Once the baby's birth has been registered, the PDS notifies the following services about the birth: child health services, the NHS newborn hearing screening service and the Office for National Statistics (ONS).