Overview Find out why your data matters

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.

Unless you have chosen to opt out, your confidential patient information can be used for research and planning. This online service allows you to make or change your decision at any time. You can also download a form to manage a choice on behalf of another individual by proxy. For example, if you are a parent or guardian of a child under the age of 13.

This information is also available in other languages and formats.

Your confidential patient information

Confidential patient information identifies you and says something about your health care or treatment. Information that only identifies you like your name and address is not confidential patient information.

Using your confidential patient information

Your confidential patient information is used in two different ways:

Your individual care

Health and care professionals may use your confidential patient information to help with your treatment and care. For example, when you visit your GP, they may access your records for important information about your health.

Research and planning

Confidential patient information is also used to:

  • plan and improve health and care services
  • research and develop cures for serious illnesses

Where you have a choice

If you don’t want your confidential patient information to be used for research and planning, you can opt out of this. Your confidential patient information will still be used to support your individual care. Any choice you set using this service will not change this.

Manage your choice

You may use our online service, or request a print-and-post form, to make or change your choice at any time. You can also request assistance or make your choice using our telephone service. If you do not wish to opt out, you don’t have to do anything at all.

Manage your choice or continue reading for more information.