Your Data Matters to the NHS

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

In May 2018, the strict rules about how this data can and cannot be used were strengthened. The NHS is committed to keeping patient information safe and always being clear about how it is used.

You can choose whether your confidential patient information is used for research and planning.

If you’re happy for your medical records to be extracted and shared, you don’t need to do anything.

Type 1 Opt-out: medical records held at your GP practice

You can 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.

Type 2 Opt-out: information held by NHS Digital

A Type 2 opt-out is an objection that prevents an individuals personal confidential information from being shared outside of NHS Digital, that is used for research and planning.

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

From 25 May 2018 the type 2 opt-out has been replaced by the national data opt-out. Type 2 opt-outs that have been recorded previously have been automatically converted to national data opt-outs.

To find out more or to make your choice visit: nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters 

or call 0300 303 5678 and/or view the NHS Digital patient Leaflet

General Practice Data for Planning and Research data collection

The NHS needs data about the patients it treats in order to plan and deliver its services and to ensure that care and treatment provided is safe and effective. The General Practice Data for Planning and Research data collection will help the NHS to improve health and care services for everyone by collecting patient data that can be used to do this. For example patient data can help the NHS to:

  • monitor the long-term safety and effectiveness of care
  • plan how to deliver better health and care services
  • prevent the spread of infectious diseases
  • identify new treatments and medicines through health research

GP practices already share patient data for these purposes, but this new data collection will be more efficient and effective.

This means that GPs can get on with looking after their patients, and NHS Digital can provide controlled access to patient data to the NHS and other organisations who need to use it, to improve health and care for everyone.

Contributing to research projects will benefit us all as better and safer treatments are introduced more quickly and effectively without compromising your privacy and confidentiality.

Opting out of NHS Digital collecting your data (Type 1 Opt-out)

If you do not want your identifiable patient data (personally identifiable data in the diagram above) to be shared outside of your GP practice for purposes except for your own care, you can register an opt-out with your GP practice. This is known as a Type 1 Opt-out.

If you do not want your patient data shared with NHS Digital, you can register a Type 1 Opt-out with your GP practice. You can register a Type 1 Opt-out at any time. You can also change your mind at any time and withdraw a Type 1 Opt-out.

Please complete this form to opt out and give to your GP practice - Type 1 Opt-out form May 2022.docx

Updated Privacy Notice - Patient GDPR Privacy Notice REVIEW May 2022.docx

How the NHS uses your patient data from GP practices to improve health and care - Please click this link to watch a video on what its all about.