National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

National Health Service Central Register

National Health Service Central Register

How is the Register used for Tracing People?

The NHSCR is used to trace people who have lost contact with their families – without breaching patient confidentiality. The tracing procedure involves identifying the person being traced and alerting that person to the opportunity to re-establish contact with his/her family. If the person agrees, a letter from the family will be forwarded to him/her. 

The tracing procedure will only be initiated by a request from a named charity specialising in tracing people (such as the Salvation Army). The NHSCR will not accept requests from adopted people who wish to trace their natural parents (or vice versa), from current or former partners looking for spouses, from fathers who are not named on birth certificates, or from companies or law firms.