National Data Opt Out

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 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.

What is confidential patient information?

Confidential patient information identifies you and says something about your health, care or treatment. Information that only identifies you, like your name and address, is not considered confidential patient information.

You have a choice

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.

Your right to opt out

You can choose not to have anything that could identify you shared beyond your GP practice (Type 1 objection). You can also choose for the NHSD not to share information it collects from all health providers any further (previously known as Type 2 objection, now National Data Opt-out).

If you have previously told your GP practice that you don’t want the NHSD to share your personal confidential information for purposes other than your own care and treatment, your opt-out will have been implemented by the NHSD from July 31 2022. It will remain in place unless you change it.

You can find more information about how the HSCIC handles your information and choices and how it manages your opt-out on the HSCIC website

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

Other ways to make a choice

You can also make or change a choice for:

  • yourself by using the NHS app, phone, email or post
  • someone else (either a child under 13 or someone you can legally make decisions for) by email or post