If you only want your health and care information to be used for your own care, you can request this. Making this choice won't affect the care you get in any way.
Tell your doctor's surgery if you don't want health information that could identify you to be used for any other reason than for your own individual care. Staff at the surgery will make sure your request is recorded on your medical records. This is called an opt-out.
There are two different kinds of opt-out.
Type 1 opt-out: medical records held at your doctor's surgery
You can stop information that could identify you from your GP medical records being used for any purpose other than your individual care by requesting that it isn't shared outside your GP practice. This is called a type 1 opt-out.
Type 2 opt-out: information held by NHS Digital
We collect information from across the health service and are the safe haven for health and care data. This means we are the legal guardians of everyone's health and care information. You can request that the information we collect and store from across the health service is not shared with other organisations for any other reason than your individual health and care. This is called a type 2 opt-out, and applies to nearly all uses of confidential patient information, with a few exceptions. Read more about how type 2 opt-outs work.
From 25 May 2018, existing type 2 opt-outs will be converted into the new national data opt-out. See 'a new way to opt out' below.