Where confidential patient information is used Find out why your data matters

The NHS collects confidential patient information from all NHS organisations, trusts and local authorities. Confidential patient information is also collected from private organisations, such as private hospitals providing NHS funded care. Research bodies and organisations can request access to this information.

Research bodies and organisations include:

  • university researchers
  • hospital researchers
  • medical royal colleges
  • pharmaceutical companies researching new treatments

Who cannot use confidential patient information

Access to confidential patient information will not be given for:

  • marketing purposes
  • insurance purposes

(unless you specifically request this)

How confidential patient information is protected

Protection of your confidential patient information is taken very seriously and is looked after in accordance with good practice and the law.

Every organisation that provides health and care services will take every step to:

  • ensure data remains secure
  • use anonymised data whenever possible
  • use confidential patient information to benefit health and care
  • not use confidential patient information for marketing or insurance purposes (unless you specifically request this)
  • make it clear why and how data is being used
  • respect your decision if you decide to opt out
  • only use information about you where allowed by the law

All NHS organisations must provide information on the type of data they collect and how it is used. Data release registers are published by NHS Digital and Public Health England, showing records of the data they have shared with other organisations.