Changing your name, title or gender with the NHS

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Changing your name, title or gender with the NHS

You can change your name, title, or gender with the NHS at any time by telling your General Practitioner (GP) (doctor) or GP practice. Ideally, you should only change your gender marker and title when you feel sure that this is your new permanent name and gender identity.

Your GP may ask to see a legal name change document like a deed poll or statutory declaration. It is not a legal requirement that you present documentation, but some GPs will consider it good practice to request this. You should make your request in writing and sign it. The GP practice may have a form that they would prefer you to use.

The GP will then start the process to create a new NHS number. Once the new NHS number is available, the GP practice changes any remaining patient information including the gender marker, pronouns and names on the new record.

The NHS has many different systems that store details about patients. Most of these update automatically when you change your details at the GP practice, but you may find automatic updates are not available for some NHS services like hospitals. 

Rotherham Hospital’s patient records system does not automatically update such changes and so you will need to inform us when you receive your new NHS number. The hospital manages requests for name, title and gender changes through the Medical Records Department. The Medical Records Department will ensure they update all of your hospital records accordingly.

Please contact the Medical Records Department on 01709 427299 once you have received a new NHS number so that we can facilitate the creation of a new record and archiving of your old record, to protect your privacy. We will ask you to complete a form indicating how you would like us to manage your hospital records.

What should I be aware of?

Changing your gender marker may affect your invitations to important medical screening tests that you will still need. 

During your life, the NHS will invite you to a number of screening tests for common conditions. As the frequency of these conditions occurring is different for men and women, some tests only invite people who have “female” on their NHS record, and some tests only invite people who have “male” on their NHS record. This can mean invitations for people who have changed their gender marker may be the wrong tests for the body parts they have.

When you change your NHS gender marker, please remember that you may not receive reminders for the tests you need, and may have to ask for them yourself.

Read more about screening tests and which tests you might need:

Creating a new hospital record

In all cases of creating a new hospital record under a new NHS number, any original paper records are scanned and archived. Your previous electronic patient record is digitally sealed. This prevents unauthorised access to the original clinical records. Access to both the scanned and sealed electronic records is restricted to Health Records Management staff only. The new record contains a reference to the existence of a previous record under a restricted section in your electronic patient record. The restricted section is limited to access by:

  1. the Health Records Management team, to enable location of the original record should you wish to request access to it, and 
  2. the hospital legal team, in the event that you take legal action against the hospital and the original records are of relevance.

You are able to choose the level of information transferred to your new hospital record from the following options:

Option 1 - Minimal Information

This includes information such as allergies, current medication, sight/hearing impaired, learning disabilities, and any other special indicators to support your future care.

Option 2 - Clinical Summary (Recommended)

This includes all of the information in Option 1, plus a clinical summary, written by a clinician, using your new name, title, gender and appropriate pronouns, and/or a redacted version of your previous record, removing all pronouns and previous name.


As part of the process of creating a new record, you may wish to receive a digital copy of your original health records. Please inform the Medical Records Department on 01709 427299 if you would like to receive a copy.

Quick step guide

  • Request the change with your GP practice
  • Receive your new NHS number
  • Call Medical Records and let them know the changes, as well as the level of information to be transferred to your new record
  • Check what screening you should be invited to and ask your GP if invitations are not received for these

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  • Page last reviewed: 21 January 2023
  • Next review due: 21 January 2024