We don't hold your full health and care records. Each health and care organisation you have contact with holds its own records on you. We collect and store some information from everyone's health and care records because of our role in health and care.
NHS Digital's role in the health and care service
NHS Digital has two main responsibilities. We:
- run and manage computer systems that link different parts of health and care together and improve individual care
- collect some specific health and care data to check how the health and care service is doing and to improve everyone's care
To carry out these duties, we need to collect, store, use and sometimes share information about you.
Find out more about the legal basis of our role in collecting data from the health service.
Improving your individual care
Some of your health information will be held in our systems to improve your care. For example:
- a central IT service called the NHS Spine links your records to your NHS number and makes sure this important information is never lost, wherever you are treated
- vital medical information including medicines you take and your allergies is recorded in your Summary Care Record, giving health professionals important and sometimes life-saving information when you are being treated away from your usual doctor's surgery
- your prescriptions can be sent direct to a pharmacy through our Electronic Prescription Service, saving you time and improving your care
- you can book an appointment on line at a time to suit you, using our e-Referrals Service
- you will be called for routine screenings, for example for cervical or bowel cancer, based on information we hold about you in our central systems
Improving care for everyone
We collect some confidential patient information so that it can be used to improve everyone's health and care.
The information we collect is used to:
- run the health service
- manage epidemics
- plan for the future
- research health conditions, diseases and treatments
Evidence from the confidential patient information of millions of people like you helps people who do these jobs make the best decisions for everyone. We always collect and store information about you securely and in line with the law.
Read more about what confidential patient information is used for on the Understanding patient data explainer page.
Read more about the benefits of sharing health information on the Understanding patient data case studies pages.