The national data opt-out is a service that allows patients to opt out of their confidential patient information being used for research and planning.
Your health records contain a type of data called confidential patient information. This data can be used to help with research and planning.
You can choose to stop your confidential patient information being used for research and planning. You can also make a choice for someone else like your children under the age of 13.
Your choice will only apply to the health and care system in England. This does not apply to health or care services accessed in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
What is confidential patient information
Confidential patient information is when 2 types of information from your health records are joined together.
The 2 types of information are:
- something that can identify you
- something about your health care or treatment
For example, your name joined with what medicine you take.
Identifiable information on its own is used by health and care services to contact patients and this is not confidential patient information.
How your confidential patient information will be used
Your individual care
Health and care staff may use your confidential patient information to help with your treatment and care. For example, when you visit your GP they may look at your records for important information about your health.
Research and planning
Confidential patient information might also be used to:
- plan and improve health and care services
- research and develop cures for serious illnesses
You can stop your confidential patient information being used for research and planning. Find out how to make your choice.
If you're happy with your confidential patient information being used for research and planning you do not need to do anything.
Any choice you make will not impact your individual care.
Here's what you need to know:
- There is no 30 September deadline for opting out of sharing your data. You can opt out at any time.
- NHS Digital will never sell your data.
- There are strict rules about how NHS can use your data. It's only shared securely and safely.
- Shared data helps the NHS. It has been used to find the first treatment for coronavirus and for vaccine research.
Type 1 Opt-outs
You can also opt-out by registering a Type 1 Opt-out.
We will not collect data from GP practices about patients who have registered a Type 1 Opt-out with their practice.
The improved General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) data collection will start on 1st September 2021 so if you do not want your data to be shared with NHS Digital from your GP practice please register your Type 1 Opt-out with your GP practice by the 31st August 2021.
More information about Type 1 Opt-outs is in our GP Data for Planning and Research Transparency Notice, including a form that you can complete and send to your GP practice.
If you register a Type 1 Opt-out after this collection has started, no more of your data will be shared with us. We will however still hold the patient data which was shared with us before you registered the Type 1 Opt-out.
You can register both a National Data Opt-out and a Type 1 Opt-out.
Click here to download the Type 1 Opt-Out form