The national data opt out was introduced in May 2018, enabling patients to opt out from the use of their data for research or planning purposes, in line with the recommendations of the National Data Guardian in her Review of Data Security, Consent and Opt-Outs.
How your data is used
Your health and care information is used to improve your individual care. It is also used to help us research new treatments, decide where to put GP clinics and plan for the number of doctors and nurses in your local hospital. Wherever possible we try to use data that does not identify you, but sometimes it is necessary to use your confidential patient information.
What is confidential patient information?
Confidential patient information identifies you and says something about your health, care or treatment. You would expect this information to be kept private. Information that only identifies you, like your name and address, is not considered confidential patient information and may still be used for example, to contact you if your GP practice is merging with another.
Who can use your confidential patient information for research and planning?
It is used by the NHS, local authorities, university and hospital researchers, medical colleges and pharmaceutical companies researching new treatments.
Making your data opt-out choice
You can choose to opt out of sharing your confidential patient information for research and planning. There may still be times when your confidential patient information is used: for example, during an epidemic where there might be a risk to you or other people’s health. You can also still consent to take part in a specific research project.
Will choosing this opt-out affect your care and treatment?
No, your confidential patient information will still be used for your individual care. Choosing to opt out will not affect your care and treatment. You will still be invited for screening services, such a screening for bowel cancer.
What you should do next?
You do not need to do anything if you are happy about how your confidential patient 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 the telephone service:
www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters or by calling 0300 3035678.
You can view or change your national data opt out choice at any time by either using the online services or telephone number noted above.
Please click on the below for further information: