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Prevent type 2 opt-out code use in Microtest

Type 2 opt-out codes (9Nu4 / 9Nu5) are no longer valid from 11 October 2018, because the national data opt-out has replaced type 2 opt-outs. You should make sure they are not being used to record patient choices on the use of their data for research and planning.

Guidance published 7 March 2019

Microtest cannot disable invalid codes within the system until they reach Phase 2 of SNOMED-CT implementation. Until then, users will still be technically able to add these codes to patient records.

Staff should be made aware that these codes (9Nu4 / 9Nu5) must not be entered into patient records.

Check data entry tools

Check the entry fields in locally-created encounter templates to see if they contain code 9Nu4. You should amend or remove entry fields that contain this invalid code.

Search to identify invalid codes

Use the Microtest search function to check for any patients with code 9Nu4 added after 11 Oct 2018. Instructions on how to use the search function are provided in the Microtest website.

You should schedule this search to happen on a regular basis, until you are confident that invalid codes are no longer being used.

If results are found, review the patient record(s) to check that the code was added after 11 October 2018. (Sometimes the report will pick up entries added as part of a GP2GP transfer to a new practice, when in fact the code was added to the patient record some time ago.)

What to do if you find type 2 codes recorded in error

If you find code 9Nu4 has been added to a patient's record after 11 October 2018, you must contact the patient to:

  • explain that the opt-out choice was recorded by the practice in error
  • tell them they can set a national data opt-out choice themselves by visiting
  • explain that their confidential patient information may still be used for research and planning purposes until they set the choice themselves

Further details and a template for a patient letter were provided in our letter to GP practices in October 2018.


For further information or queries about Microtest functionality please contact the Microtest Support Desk.

Last edited: 7 September 2020 2:20 pm