You can choose whether your confidential patient information is used for research and planning. 

Type 1 opt-out: medical records held at your GP practice

You can tell your GP practice (using this form>>) if you do not want your confidential patient information held in your GP medical record to be used for purposes other than your individual care. This is commonly called a type 1 opt-out. This opt-out request can only be recorded by your GP practice.

Type 2 opt-out: information held by NHS Digital

Previously you could tell your GP practice if you did not want NHS Digital to share confidential patient information that they collect from across the health and care service for purposes other than your individual care. This was called a type 2 opt-out.

The type 2 opt-out was replaced by the national data opt-out. Type 2 opt-outs recorded on or before 11 October 2018 have been automatically converted to national data opt-outs

There have been posts on social media with false information about opting out of sharing your data with the NHS.

Here's what you need to know:

  • There is no 30 September deadline for opting out of sharing your data. You can opt out at any time.
  • NHS Digital will never sell your data.
  • There are strict rules about how NHS can use your data. It's only shared securely and safely.
  • Shared data helps the NHS. It has been used to find the first treatment for coronavirus and for vaccine research.

    Read NHS Digital's response to the false information about the national data opt-out

    How can I opt out?

    You can set your choice online at:

    You will need:

    • your NHS number (a 10 digit number that you should be able to find on any document sent to you by the NHS, for example a hospital referral letter or prescription)
    • to have an email address or phone number registered with an NHS service.

    Alternatively you can call the helpline: 0300 303 5678
    Or download a form here to opt out via post.

    If you want to set a national data opt-out for your children, or where you have a formal proxy to make decisions on behalf of someone else, you can download a form here or phone the helpline on 0300 303 5678. 

    Between 25 May and the end of September 2018, GP practices were still able to set a Type 2 opt out if requested. But NHS Digital will convert these to the national data opt-out and communicate with individuals what is happening. NHS Digital will retire the Type 2 opt out codes for GPs from early October 2018

    For more information