A number of national media reports and social media posts are claiming that your personal health data will be shared if you don’t opt out. This is alarming but it is not entirely true.
Here’s what you need to know:
Shared data will help the NHS. It has been used to find the first treatment for coronavirus and for vaccine research. The data they will hold and share will be anonymous data. Therefore, it does not include your name, address or anything else identifiable.
The NHS will never sell your data. They have strict rules about how your data can be used. As a result of this, it is only shared securely for planning and research purposes. For example, it will never be sold to marketing companies.
Where can I find more information?
- Find out more and choose whether data from your health records are shared for research and planning
- Fact Check: Sharing NHS Data
- General Practice Data for Planning and Research: NHS Digital Transparency Notice
- Full Fact – What’s happening with your NHS data?
If you’re happy with your confidential patient information being used for research and planning you do not need to do anything.
However, you have the right to decide whether you want to share your data.
If you do not want your patient data shared with NHS Digital, you can contact your GP practice. This is called a Type 1 Opt-out with your GP practice. You do this at any time and you can change your mind at any time and withdraw a Type 1 Opt-out.
There is no deadline for opting out of sharing your data. Therefore, you can opt out at any time.
You can opt-out of NHS Digital sharing your data by:
Online: Find out how to make your choice
Phone: 0300 303 5678 – Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm (excluding bank holidays)
Alternatively, you can post the form to:
National Data Opt-Out,
7 and 8 Wellington Place