Your Data Choices
Your Data Matters to the NHS
Information about your health and care helps us 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.
How your data is used
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.
You have a choice
You do not need to do anything if you are happy about how your information is used. If you do not want your confidential patient information to be used for research and planning, you can choose to opt out securely online or through a telephone service. You can change your mind about your choice at any time.
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.
Type 1 Opt Out - If you do not want your data to be shared outside of your GP practice for purposes except for your own direct care, you can opt out using our secure online form.
It is important to note that while the type 1 opt-out will apply to some data sharing, it won’t apply where there is an overriding legal requirement for GP practices to share this data with NHS Digital.
National Opt Out (Formerly Type 2): you can choose to opt out from the use of your data for research or planning purposes. Confidential (identifiable) data held by NHS digital cannot be shared for research and planning once this opt-out is completed. More information including how to opt out.