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.
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.
General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR)
NHS Digital's daily collection of GP data will support vital health and care planning and research.
The data held in the GP medical records of patients is used every day to support health and care planning and research in England, helping to find better treatments and improve patient outcomes for everyone. NHS Digital has developed a new way to collect this data, called the General Practice Data for Planning and Research data collection.
The new data collection reduces burden on GP practices, allowing doctors and other staff to focus on patient care.
Can Patients Opt-out?
Patients who do not want their identifiable patient data (personally identifiable data) to be shared outside of the GP practice for purposes except for their own direct care can register a Type 1 Opt-out using the opt out form. Any patient who does not currently have a type 1 opt out in place and wishes to opt out before GPDPR takes effect must register this with the practice by the 23rd June 2021 to avoid the extract by NHS Digital. After this date, the type 1 opt out would still be respected, however, this would be on new data extracted post the deadline of 24th June 2021 and not over data that has already been extracted.
It is important to note that while the type 1 opt-out will apply to some data sharing, it won’t apply where there is an overriding legal requirement for GP practices to share this data with NHS Digital.