National data opt-out introduced across England

The ‘National Data Opt-Out’ is introduced today, providing a facility for individuals to opt-out from the use of their data for research or planning purposes. This is provided in line with the recommendations of the National Data Guardian in her Review of Data Security, Consent and Opt-Outs. The service will initially be in beta, while we ensure the service design is optimal.

Individual preferences will be collected from today and by 2020 all health and care organisations are required to have applied these preferences in all research and planning situations in which confidential patient information is used. NHS Digital will apply these preferences with immediate effect.

The national data opt-out will replace the previous ‘type 2’ opt-out, which required NHS Digital to refrain from sharing a patient’s confidential patient information for purposes beyond their direct care.

Any person with an existing type 2 opt-out will have it automatically converted to a national data opt-out from today and will shortly receive a letter giving them more information and a leaflet explaining the new national data opt-out. We will continue to collect and convert type 2 opt-outs during the beta phase.

The national data opt-out choice can be viewed or changed at any time by using the online service at www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters

ENDS

Find out more
More information about the national data opt- out can be found on the NHS Digital website

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Notes to editors

1. NHS Digital is the national information and technology partner of the health and care system.  Our team of information analysis, technology and project management experts create, deliver and manage the crucial digital systems, services, products and standards upon which health and care professionals depend.  During the 2017/18 financial year, NHS Digital published 275 statistical reports. Our vision is to harness the power of information and technology to make health and care better.

2. Downloadable information supporting patients and staff around the Opt-Out is available here 

3. For media enquiries please contact media@nhsdigital.nhs.net or telephone 0300 30 33 888.