Sharing your information
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 can’t 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 can’t be identified.
You can choose not to have information about you shared or used for any purpose beyond providing your own treatment or care.
Managing your data choice
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 March 2020. Find out more about the national data opt-out.
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. Find out more about this conversion.
The NHS wants to make sure you and your family have the best care now and in the future. Your health and adult social care information supports your individual care. It also helps us to research, plan and improve health and care services in England.
To opt out via the GP practice, please use this form NHS Digital Opt out form May 2018
There are very strict rules on how this data can and cannot be used, and you have clear data rights. We are committed to keeping patient information safe and will always be clear on how it is used.
You can choose whether or not your confidential patient information is used for research and planning. Follow the link below for more information:
NHS Choices - your data
NHS Digital supplies information and data to the health service, provides vital technological infrastructure, and helps different parts of health and care work together.
NHS Digital is the national information and technology partner for the health and care system. Our systems and information help doctors, nurses and other health care professionals improve efficiency and make care safer. We:
Our legal duties include:
- collecting, analysing and publishing health and care data
- making submitting data as easy as possible for health and care staff
- providing national technology for health and care services
- producing information standards
- improving the quality of health and care information and data
- publishing national indicators for health and care, to measure quality of care and progress against policy initiatives
- giving advice and support to health and care organisations on information and cyber security
For information on how NHS Digital keeps patient data safe, click on this link NHS Digital - Keeping patient data safe