This publication provides statistics on the number of unique NHS numbers with an associated national data opt-out. The national data opt-out was introduced on 25 May 2018. It was introduced following recommendations from the National Data Guardian. It indicates that a patient does not want their confidential patient information to be shared for purposes beyond their individual care across the health and care system in England. The service allows individuals to set a national data opt-out or reverse a previously set opt-out. It replaced the previous type 2 opt-outs which patients registered via their GP Practice.
Previous type 2 opt-outs have been converted to national data opt-outs each month, until November 2018. This is why the monthly increase in opt-outs decreases from December 2018 onward.
This publication includes the number of people who have a national data opt-out, broken down by age, gender and a variety of geographical breakdowns.
From June 2020 the methodology for reporting NDOP changed, representing a break in time series. Therefore, caution should be used when comparing data to publications prior to June 2020. The number of deceased people with an active NDOP has been captured and reported for the first time in June 2020.
Please note that this publication is no longer released monthly. It is released annually or when the national opt-out rate changes by more than 0.1 per cent.
Prior to September 2020 there is a slight inflation of less than 0.05 percent in the number of National Data Opt-outs. This is due to an issue with the data processing, which has been resolved and does not affect data after September 2020. This issue does not disproportionately affect any single breakdown, including geographies. Please take this into consideration when using the data.
There was an increase in the number of NDOPs in September and October 2020. This could be attributed to a number of posts circulated on social media about the national data opt-out, containing incorrect information. This page looks at these claims and gives you the facts you need to make your choice: https://digital.nhs.uk/services/national-data-opt-out/mythbusting-social-media-posts