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.
This information is also available in other languages and formats.
Information about Shared Health Records:
Information about your health and care helps the NHS to improve your individual care, speed up diagnosis, plan your local services and research new treatments.
NHS Digital has a legal responsibility to collect data about NHS and social care services.
The NHS cannot analyse all information on its own, so we safely and securely share some with researchers, analysts and organisations who are experts in making sense of complex information. We only share what’s needed for each piece of research, and wherever possible, information is removed so that you cannot be identified.
You can choose not to have information about you shared or used for any purpose beyond providing your own treatment or care.
From 25 May 2018 you can choose to stop your confidential patient information being used for purposes other than your own care and treatment. This choice is known as a national data opt-out. If you choose to opt out, NHS Digital will apply your opt-out from 25 May 2018. All other health and social care organisations are required to apply your opt-out by 30 September 2021.
If you have previously registered an opt-out with your GP practice to request that NHS Digital does not use your confidential patient information (other than for your individual care and treatment), this will have automatically been converted to a national data opt-out on 25 May 2018.
To help the NHS respond to coronavirus, your information may be used for coronavirus research purposes even if you have chosen not to share it. Any information used will be shared appropriately and lawfully.
You can stop your confidential patient information being used for research and planning by opting out if your data can be shared.
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.
You can opt-out online here
You now have until 30th September 2021 to make a choice regarding this (This has been delayed from March 2020)
Updated 15th June 2021