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.

National data opt-out
You can choose whether your confidential patient information is used for research and planning. To find out more visit nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters.

You do not need to do anything if you are happy about how your confidential patient information is used. You can change your choice at any time.

Type 1 opt-out: medical records held at your GP practice
You can also 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 practice. If you wish to opt out please download and complete the Type 1 opt out form and return it to the practice. 

Type 2 opt-out: information held by NHS Digital

Previously you could tell your GP practice if you did not want us, NHS Digital, to share confidential patient information that we collect from across the health and care service for purposes other than your individual care. This was called a type 2 opt-out.

The type 2 opt-out was replaced by the national data opt-out. Type 2 opt-outs recorded on or before 11 October 2018 have been automatically converted to national data opt-outs.

Download a copy of the Type 1 Opt Out Form

Download a copy of the patient leaflet



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