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Data quality incidents

The Personal Demographic Service (PDS) National Back Office (NBO) can update incorrect data items on the PDS.

Examples of data quality incidents that we can help with are:

  • duplicate NHS Numbers
  • confused records
  • incorrect demographic data
  • new birth queries
  • incorrectly set death status

Duplicate NHS Numbers

A duplicate is where 2 or more NHS Numbers exist for one NHS patient. We investigate and confirm whether the NHS Numbers relate to the same person. 

When duplicate NHS Numbers are confirmed the records are merged, leaving the patient with a single unique NHS Number.

The outcome of the investigation is reported to the primary healthcare provider for the patient concerned.

Read about a duplicate registration case study.

Advice for members of the public

If you are a member of the public who has two or more NHS numbers you will need to contact your GP surgery. Alternatively, please contact your Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) if you are not registered with a GP. 

Confused records

A confusion is where one NHS Number is being used by 2 or more NHS patients.

We investigate and confirm the correct NHS Number for each of the patients and correct the PDS demographic data, as appropriate.

The outcome of the investigation is reported to each patient's primary healthcare provider.

Read our case studies for examples of how confused records can be created and resolved:

Confused records - case study 1
Confused records - case study 2
Confused records - case study 3

Incorrect demographic data

We investigate incorrect PDS record data and correct it, as appropriate.

The outcome of the investigation is reported to the patient's primary health care provider.

Incorrect death status

Where a patient has been incorrectly recorded as deceased, we investigate and reset the patient's death status on the PDS record. 

The outcome of the investigation is reported to the PDS user that raised the incident.

New birth queries

We investigate and resolve data quality incidents relating to new born babies.

The investigation outcomes are reported to the maternity unit or child health unit that raised the incident.

Read about a new birth case study.

Reporting data quality incidents

Find out how to report data quality incidents.

Advice for members of the public

If you are a member of the public who has two or more NHS numbers you will need to contact your GP surgery. Alternatively, please contact your Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) if you are not registered with a GP. 

Last edited: 11 October 2019 10:52 am