Was I the 10,815th baby born for free?

Was I the 10,815th baby born for free?


norman lebrecht

July 06, 2014

I was born in a London maternity hospital six days after the National Health Service was founded, in July 1948. My mother (I’m told) said: ‘I had to pay for the others. This one I want for free.’

As a consequence of my date of birth, I have always seen myself as one of the founders of the NHS and assumed I had a low entry number.

Apparently not. In a new gimmick offered by the Labour Party, you can now check your NHS birth number … and mine is 10,815.

That’s disappointing. It’s also a bit puzzling. Was Britain’s baby boom really advancing at the rate of 2,000 births a day? Three quarters of a million UK births in 1948? Can anyone verify that?

The Labour Party tells me this is their ‘best estimate’, based on my forename and date of birth. Not sure I believe it. Click here to find your supposed UK birth number.



  • Greg Hlatky says:

    Yes, according to the Office for National Statistics (http://www.ons.gov.uk) there were 775,306 live births in England and Wales in 1948, or 2,118 a day. So in the course of six days there would have been 12,709. You were an early bird.

  • Catherine Francoise says:

    I checked my baby number 3 times and was given a different number every time!! All they want is an email address. Pathetic.

  • Will Duffay says:

    I wonder who will be the last baby born for free when the last dying scraps of the under-funded NHS owned by the British people are sold to an American health corporation.