How to Ensure your Vaccination & NHS Records are Aligned For Travel
When you’re changing your name, it can feel like everything about your identity changes. One thing that doesn’t change is your NHS number.
Just like your National Insurance number, this number stays with you for life (unless you change gender) but you do need to update the name on your records.
Most GP surgeries request you visit in person with an original copy of your corresponding legal document that entitles you to adopt a new name:
NameSwitch top tip!
Contact your local surgery to gauge when and how you should get your document to them. If you’re changing your name after marriage it can take up to a month after your wedding before your Marriage Certificate arrives. It’s important to ask the medical reception team to update your full NHS record at the same time, not just the records held at your local surgery or hospital.
Because there’s such an array of NHS databases and processes some surgeries or hospitals have specific name change forms. The staff at your local GP reception should be able guide you and tell you about current processing times. Crucially, this will update any vaccination records which are linked to your NHS number.
Aligning your Name on your NHS Covid Pass & Passport is key
If you’re planning to travel abroad under your new name, you need to understand how this affects your Covid vaccination records.
Although restrictions are being eased, the need for a vaccination certificate is likely to remain in some form for the foreseeable future.
In order to travel you must have the same name on both your passport and NHS records.
Here’s where it gets difficult: you’ll need to change the name on your passport and NHS number at roughly the same time for them to match but be aware that each process takes different lengths of time!
Changing the name on your passport can be tricky enough without the added pressure of processing backlogs currently experienced by the Passport Office.
Stay ahead by reading our Passport Guide and weighing up whether your timeframes are realistic. Then you can determine whether to book travel in your old or new name. We recommend you update your EHIC/GHIC card before travel.
If you planned to jet off on honeymoon with your new married name, you need to factor in the time needed to change your NHS records as they’ll need to see an original copy of your official documents. These won’t arrive until some weeks after your wedding. If you’re determined, our article on honeymooning in your married name can guide you through it, but the timings are difficult and you’ll need nerves of steel!
To obtain NHS Covid Pass for Domestic or Travel, please visit the dedicated NHS Covid Pass website. We recommend initiating this step at least a week before travel for extra peace of mind.
NameSwitch was established to help take the effort out of making the change, by making the process as easy as possible for you and saving hours, or even days, researching policies and processes, writing letters and filling out forms. We use smart, secure automation to populate the forms and letters you’ll need to send out to change your details so all you need to do is sign them and pop them in the post.
The average name changer notifies approximately 24 different government bodies, local authorities, and companies. Figuring out who needs what can be daunting and takes 14 hours on average! Most name changers find this process tedious and overly complicated.
NameSwitch has created a UK first and only award-winning namechange toolkit to help simplify this process. Change your name with speed and ease saving you so much time and with peace of mind that you’ll get it right first time.
In just 3 easy steps you can select who you need to notify from 700 government bodies, local authorities, and companies. You only need to enter your details once. You’ll have instant access to download your pre-populated name change letters, forms and personalised instructions ready for you to print and sign.
Dive into our practical Nameswitch guides.
Learn how to change your name on your drivers licence, on your Facebook account and how to handle updating your COVID pass along with your passport
Get your free name-change checklist to help you plan out all of the companies, government bodies and profiles you need to notify of your new name.