NHS Digital Collecting GP data - advice for the public
National Data Opt-out
Your Data Matters to the NHS
Information about your health and care helps the NHS to improve your individual care, speed up diagnosis, plan your local services and research new treatments.
The NHS is committed to keeping patient information safe and always being clear about how it is used.
In May 2018, the strict rules about how this data can and cannot be used were strengthened. The NHS is committed to keeping patient information safe and always being clear about how it is used.
You can choose whether your confidential patient information is used for research and planning.
Information about your individual care such as treatment and diagnoses is collected about you whenever you use health and care services. It is also used to help us and other organisations for research and planning such as research into new treatments, deciding where to put GP clinics and planning for the number of doctors and nurses in your local hospital. It is only used in this way when there is a clear legal basis to use the information to help improve health and care for you, your family and future generations.
Wherever possible we try to use data that does not identify you, but sometimes it is necessary to use your confidential patient information.
If you’re happy for your medical records to be extracted and shared, you don’t need to do anything.
Type 1 Opt-out: medical records held at your GP practice
You can tell your GP practice if you do not want your confidential patient information held in your GP medical record to be used for purposes other than your individual care. This is commonly called a type 1 opt-out. This opt-out request can only be recorded by your GP.
If you choose a Type 1 opt-out, please complete our National Type 1 Data Opt Out Form
Type 2 Opt-out: information held by NHS Digital
A Type 2 opt-out is an objection that prevents an individuals personal confidential information from being shared outside of NHS Digital, that is used for research and planning.
Previously you could tell your GP surgery if you did not want NHS Digital to share confidential patient information that is collected from across the health and care service for purposes other than your individual care. This was called a type 2 opt-out.
From 25 May 2018 the type 2 opt-out has been replaced by the national data opt-out. Type 2 opt-outs that have been recorded previously have been automatically converted to national data opt-outs.
To find out more or to make your choice visit: nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters or call 0300 303 5678 and/or view the NHS Digital patient Leaflet
Will choosing this opt-out affect your care and treatment?
No, choosing to opt out will not affect how information is used to support your care and treatment. You will still be invited for screening services, such as screenings for bowel cancer.
What do you need to do?
If you are happy for your confidential patient information to be used for research and planning, you do not need to do anything.
To find out more about the benefits of data sharing, how data is protected, or to make/change your opt-out choice visit www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters.
Download a copy of the patient leaflet