National Data Opt-Out




Your health records contain a type of data called confidential patient information. This data can be used to help with research and planning.

You can choose to stop your confidential patient information being used for research and planning. You can also make a choice for someone else like your children under the age of 13.

Your choice will only apply to the health and care system in England. This does not apply to health or care services accessed in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

This information is also available in other languages and formats.

What is confidential patient information

Confidential patient information is when 2 types of information from your health records are joined together.

The 2 types of information are:

  • something that can identify you
  • something about your health care or treatment

For example, your name joined with what medicine you take.

Identifiable information on its own is used by health and care services to contact patients and this is not confidential patient information.

Using your health data for planning and research

You can decide whether you wish to have your information extracted and there are two main options available to you.

Option 1:

Type 1 Opt-out applies at organisational level and means that your medical record is not extracted from the organisation for any purpose other than for direct patient care. You can opt out at any time. Opting out will mean that no further extractions will be taken from your medical record.

Further information is available here.

Option 2:

Type 2 Opt-out allows data to be extracted by NHS Digital for their lawful purposes but they cannot share this information with anyone else for research and planning purposes. You can opt out at any time.

Further information is available here.

How do you opt out?

Type 1 – You need to contact the practice by phone, email or post to let us know that you wish to opt out.

Type 2 – you need to inform NHS Digital. Unfortunately, this cannot be done by the practice for you. You can do this by any of the following methods:

  • Online service – You will need to know your NHS number or your postcode as registered at your GP practice via
  • Telephone service 0300 303 5678 which is open Monday to Friday between 0900 and 1700
  • NHS App – For use by patients aged 13 and over (95% of surgeries are now connected to the NHS App). The app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google play
  • Print and post” registration form:
    • ​​​​​​​Photocopies of proof of the applicant’s name (e.g., passport, UK driving licence etc.) and address (e.g., utility bill, payslip etc.) need to be sent with the application.

It can take up to 14 days to process the form once it arrives at NHS, PO Box 884, Leeds. LS1 9TZ

For further information on the National Data Opt-Out scheme and how to register your choice, visit Make your choice about sharing data from your health records - NHS (