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Your personal information

Sharing your records

Information about you is used in a number of ways by the NHS and social care services to support your personal care and to improve health and social care services for everyone.

NHS Digital is the national NHS organisation with a legal responsibility to collect data as people make use of NHS and social care services.

The data is used locally and nationally to help with planning, managing your care, supporting research into new treatments, identifying trends and issues and so forth, and is used to try to make services better for all.

You can, however, choose not to have information about you shared or used for any purpose beyond providing your own treatment or care.

Your right to opt out

You can choose not to have anything that could identify you shared beyond your GP practice. You can also choose for NHS Digital not to share information it collects from health providers any further.

Simply contact your GP either to register an opt-out or end an opt-out you have already registered and they will update your medical record. Your GP practice will also be able to confirm whether or not you have registered an opt-out in the past.

If you have previously told your GP practice that you don't want NHS Digital to share your personal confidential information for purposes other than your own care and treatment, your opt-out will have been implemented by NHS Digital from April 29 2016 as instructed in a direction from the Secretary of State. It will remain in place unless you change it.

As the Secretary of State’s direction, which included the policy on how to apply opt-outs was not available before April 2016 it was not possible for NHS Digital to honour opt-outs made before this date. This means that information may have been shared without respecting these opt-outs between January 2014 and April 2016.

You can find more information on NHS Digital's website:

Page last reviewed: 22/06/2016

Next review due: 22/06/2019

Keeping your online health and social care records safe and secure

Guidance is available to help you understand what an electronic health and care record is, how you can access it, who you may want to share it with, and how to perform these actions securely. This guidance was created by the Department of Health, working in collaboration with BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, in 2013.

Download the patient guidance booklets: