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Patient Records, Duplicates and Confusions



This is where two patients have the same NHS number – this often occurs when a patient registers with a practice, and the incorrect patient details are selected from PDS on the Spine, confusing the two patient’s details.

This can cause medical records to be combined for the two patients and can often result in the patient/s being registered between practices. Confusions carry a clinical risk, as they can result in a patient missing screening programmes and incorrect medical care being provided.


This is where you find one patient has two NHS numbers. Cases like this often lead to the medical records being mixed between two medical record envelopes, which could lead to the full patient history not being fully reviewed by practitioners.

Please notify PCSE of any confusions or duplicate cases. To do this, please go to www.pcse.england.nhs.uk/contact-us and select ‘Registrations’ from the drop-down menu on the enquiries form.

Once notified, PCSE will investigate the case and update NHAIS. PCSE will then log a request with the National Back Office to update the data held on PDS/Spine. The National Back Office can take between 4 – 6 weeks to return to PCSE. Overall it could take 6-8 weeks to resolve.

We will then complete and close the case within five working days.

Support & Guidance

Download our Tips for Smooth Patient Registrations guide to avoid confusions. 

Click on the tile to access all support and guidance related to patient registrations.