National data opt-out programme

Summary

The national data opt-out is a new service that allows patients to opt out of their confidential patient information being used for research and planning.

Top tasks

Patients can find out more and set their opt-out choice at nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters.

Health and care staff can download leaflets, posters and other resources to use when informing patients.

The national data opt-out was introduced on 25 May 2018, enabling patients to opt-out from the use of their data for research or planning purposes, in line with the recommendations of the National Data Guardian in her Review of Data Security, Consent and Opt-Outs. 

By 2020 all health and care organisations are required to apply national data opt-outs where confidential patient information is used for research and planning purposes. NHS Digital have been applying national data opt-outs since 25 May 2018. Public Health England have been applying national data opt-outs since September 2018. Find out more about compliance and organisations' compliance status

The national data opt-out replaces the previous ‘type 2’ opt-out, which required NHS Digital not to share a patient’s confidential patient information for purposes beyond their individual care. Any patient that had a type 2 opt-out recorded on or before 11 October 2018 has had it automatically converted to a national data opt-out. Those aged 13 or over were sent a letter giving them more information and a leaflet explaining the national data opt-out. 

Patients can view or change their national data opt-out choice at any time by using the online service at www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters.

Join the national data opt-out mailing list

Fill in the national data opt out team contact form to be added to our mailing list for health and care professionals, to keep up to date with news on the national data opt-out. Please note, you cannot use this form to set an opt-out choice.

Further information

  1. internal

    Information for GP practices

    The national data opt-out has replaced type 2 opt outs. GP practices must no longer use the type 2 opt out code to record a patient's opt-out choice.

  2. internal

    Compliance with the national data opt-out

    All health and care organisations in England should comply with the national data opt-out policy by March 2020. Find out what you need to do, when, and see which organisations are already compliant.