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 cannot 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 cannot be identified.
You can choose not to have information about you shared or used for any purpose beyond providing your own treatment or care.
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 30 September 2021.
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.
Page last reviewed: 24 May 2018
Next review due: 24 May 2021