Read more about the collection and conversion of type 2 opt-outs


Find out about the collection and conversion of type 2 opt-outs.


From 25 May 2018 the type 2 opt-out has been replaced by the national data opt-out and all type 2 opt-outs previously held by NHS Digital up to 25 May 2018 have been converted to national data opt-outs. If you had a type 2 opt-out it will have been automatically converted.

It is possible for you to request that a type 2 opt-out is recorded at your GP surgery on or after 25 May 2018 and where you have done this we, NHS Digital, will continue to collect these monthly and will automatically convert them to a national data opt-out for you. These type 2 collections will remain in place until the beginning of October 2018. After then GP surgeries should no longer be recording a type 2 opt-out code against your medical record.

For more information about how NHS Digital uses and discloses your national data opt-out please read the privacy notice.

The difference between your type 2 opt-out and the national data opt-out

All health and care organisations in England are required to apply your national data opt-out in line with the policy by March 2020, including hospitals and GP practices. Your type 2 opt-out only applies to confidential patient information being shared by NHS Digital.

National data opt-outs are not recorded at the GP surgery and instead you can change your national data opt-out using the online service or by calling our contact centre.

Young adults from the age of 13 can set and change their own national data opt-out.

What’s not changed

As for a type 2 opt-out, the purpose of the national data opt-out is to prevent the use of your confidential patient information for research and planning purposes.

Also, in the same way as a type 2 opt-out the national data opt-out does not apply where your confidential patient information is provided:

  • in anonymised form that is compliant with the Information Commissioner’s Office Code of Practice on anonymisation
  • to meet a mandatory legal requirement
  • under the public interest test (such as to support the investigation of serious crime and/or to prevent abuse or serious harm to others)
  • to the National Cancer Registration Service (this has its own opt-out)
  • to the National Congenital Anomalies & Rare Diseases Register (this has its own opt-out)

Your national data opt-out will continue to be applied by NHS Digital and is applied within 21 days of when we first receive and process the opt-out information. If you have set a type 2 opt-out at your GP surgery after 25 May 2018 then be aware we only collect that information from your GP surgery once a month and it can take up to 21 days after we receive that information for your opt-out to be put in place. 

Communicating the change

If you had a type 2 opt-out in place before 25 May 2018 and were aged 13 or over (or your 13th birthday was in June or July 2018) you will have received a letter to tell you that your opt-out has been converted to a national data opt-out.

If you have recently recorded a type 2 opt-out in your GP surgery on or after 25 May 2018 you will receive a letter to tell you that the opt-out has been converted to a national data opt-out. These letters will only be issued after the monthly collection of the type 2 opt-out data from your GP surgery has taken place. Usually this will be in the month after your type 2 opt-out was recorded.