NHS opt out Dead line

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There have been posts on social media with false information about opting out of sharing your date with the NHS

Here’s what you need to know:

  • There is NO 30 September deadline for opting out of sharing your date. You can opt out at any time.
  • NHS Digital will NEVER sell your data
  • There are strict rules about how NHS can use your data. It’s only shared securely and safely.
  • Share data help the NHS. It has been used to find the first treatment for coronavirus and for vaccine research.
  • Read NHS Digital’s response to the false information about the national data opt-out , click here

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.

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.

How we use your confidential patient information

Your individual care

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

Research and planning

Confidential patient information might also be used to :

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

Your choice

You can stop your confidential patient information being used for research and planning. Find out How to make your choice.

If you’re happy with your confidential patient information being used for research and planning you do not need to do anything.

Any choice you make will NOT impact your individual care.

Who cannot use confidential patient information

Access to confidential patient information will NOT be given for marketing purposes or insurance purposes. ( Unless you request this)

How confidential patient information is protected

Your confidential patient information is looked after in accordance with good practice and the law.

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

  • Keep data secure
  • Use data that cannot identify you whenever possible
  • Use data to benefit health and care
  • Not use data for marketing or insurance purposes ( unless you request this)
  • Make it clear why and how data is being used.

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

If you choose to stop your confidential patient information being used or research and planning, your data might still be used in some situattions

When required by law  if there’s a legal requirement to provide it, such as a court order

 When you have given consent  If you have given your consent, such as for a medical research study

When there is an overriding public interest . In an emergency or in a situation when the safety of others is most  important. For example, to help manage contagious diseases like coronavirus and stop them spreading.

When information that can identify you is removed  Information about your health care and treatment might still be used in research and planning if the information that can identify you is removed first.

When there is a specific exclusion  Your confidential patient information can still be used in a small number of situations. For example, for official national statistics like a population census.

If you would like to get more information or  opt out  click on here.