Your Data Matters

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.

Opting Out

The National Data Guardian conducted a review into the use of NHS data in 2016, and examined the most appropriate model for collecting and using patient data across the NHS. The conclusion was that a single opt-out model should be adopted across the health and care system in England, and the Government has accepted her recommendations. You can find out more about why an opt-out model is most appropriate, rather than one based on an opt-in or consent.

You can set your choice online at:

You will need:

  • Your NHS number (a 10 digit number that you should be able to find on any document sent to you by the NHS, for example a hospital referral letter or prescription)
    To have an email address or phone number registered with an NHS service

Alternatively you can call the helpline: 0300 303 5678

If you want to set a national data opt-out for your children, or where you have a formal proxy to make decisions on behalf of someone else, you can phone the helpline on 0300 303 5678.

NHS Digital will convert Type 2 opt-out to the national data opt-out and communicate with individuals what is happening. NHS Digital will retire the Type 2 opt out codes for GPs from early October 2018.