Opting out of sharing your data

Data sharing with NHS Digital will start on 1 SEPTEMBER 2021 (delayed from 1 JULY 2021) - PLEASE RETURN YOUR OPT OUT FORM TO THE PRACTICE BY 23 AUGUST 2021

You may have read recently that NHS digital will be automatically extracting data from GP practices. The following explains what that means for you and also provides links to the forms that you need to return to us should you wish to opt out of data sharing

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Opting out

If you don’t want your identifiable patient data (personally identifiable data in the diagram above) to be shared for purposes except for your own care, you can opt-out by registering a Type 1 Opt-out or a National Data Opt-out, or both. These opt-outs are different and they are explained in more detail below. Your individual care will not be affected if you opt out using either option.

Type 1 Opt-out (opting out of NHS Digital collecting your data)

If you do not want your identifiable patient data (personally identifiable data in the diagram above) to be shared outside of the GP practice for purposes except your own care, you can register an opt-out with the GP practice. This is known as a Type 1 Opt-out.

Type 1 Opt-outs were introduced in 2013 for data sharing from GP practices, but may be discontinued in the future as a new opt-out has since been introduced to cover the broader health and care system, called the National Data Opt-out. If this happens, patients who have registered a Type 1 Opt-out will be informed. There is more information about National Data Opt-outs below.

NHS Digital will not collect any patient data for patients who have already registered a Type 1 Opt-in line with current policy. If this changes patients who have registered a Type 1 Opt-out will be informed.

If you do not want your patient data shared with NHS Digital for the purposes above, you can register a Type 1 Opt-out with your GP practice. You can register a Type 1 Opt-out at any time. You can also change your mind at any time and withdraw a Type 1 Opt-out.

Data sharing with NHS Digital will start on 1 SEPTEMBER 2021 (delayed from 1 JULY 2021)

If you have already registered a Type 1 Opt-out with your GP practice your data will not be shared with NHS Digital.

If you wish to register a Type 1 Opt-out with your GP practice before data sharing starts with NHS Digital, this should be done by returning this form to your GP practice by 23 August 2021 to allow time for processing it. If you have previously registered a Type 1 Opt-out and you would like to withdraw this, you can also use the form to do this. You can send the form by post or email to your GP practice or call 0300 3035678 for a form to be sent out to you.

If you register a Type 1 Opt-out after your patient data has already been shared with NHS Digital, no more of your data will be shared with NHS Digital. NHS Digital will however still hold the patient data which was shared with them before you registered the Type 1 Opt-out. 

If you do not want NHS Digital to share your identifiable patient data (personally identifiable data in the diagram above) with anyone else for purposes beyond your own care, then you can also register a National Data Opt-out. There is more about National Data Opt-outs and when they apply below.

National Data Opt-out (opting out of NHS Digital sharing your data)

This applies to identifiable patient data about your health (personally identifiable data in the diagram above), which is called confidential patient information. If you don’t want your confidential patient information to be shared by NHS Digital with other organisations for purposes except your own care - either GP data, or other data it holds, such as hospital data - you can register a National Data Opt-out.

If you have registered a National Data Opt-out, NHS Digital won’t share any confidential patient information about you with other organisations, unless there is an exemption to this, such as where there is a legal requirement or where it is in the public interest to do so, such as helping to manage contagious diseases like coronavirus. You can find out more about exemptions on the NHS website.

From 1 October 2021, the National Data Opt-out will also apply to any confidential patient information shared by the GP practice with other organisations for purposes except your individual care. It won’t apply to this data being shared by GP practices with NHS Digital, as it is a legal requirement for us to share this data with NHS Digital and the National Data Opt-out does not apply where there is a legal requirement to share data.

You can find out more about and register a National Data Opt-out, or change your choice on nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters or by calling 0300 3035678.



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