Personal Demographic Service (PDS) - England

The Personal Demographics Service (PDS) is the national electronic database of NHS patient demographic details and the central source of patient demographic information used within England.

The PDS enables a patient to be readily identified by healthcare professionals quickly and accurately, it does not hold any clinical or sensitive data items such as ethnicity or religion.

The PDS provides a single accessible, efficient, reliable and integrated electronic demographics service. Changes made in one location are available for access across NHS Care Records Service systems without delay, creating a single up-to-date and definitive demographic record for each patient for authorised NHS professionals to access and use.

The PDS offers several key advantages to users, including faster access, better communication between NHS organisations and less risk of duplication or misidentification of patients.

The key benefits of the PDS are:

  • Improved patient safety through a reduction in the number of errors when matching patients and episodes of patient care.
  • A more convenient way to add or update demographic information such as contact details.
  • Quicker access to accurate and complete patient demographic information, for example, contact details and registered practice, and correct matching to each patient’s NHS Care Record.
  • A reduction in the amount of correspondence going to the wrong address.
  • More difficult for patients to use ‘ghost addresses’.
    Note - Information in this section was obtained from the NHS England website.
Important - In order to access the PDS, you must be logged into Vision 3 with your Smartcardand have the appropriate RBAC activities assigned to your card as defined by the National Access Control Reference Group.
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