National data opt-out

National data opt-out is a service which gives individuals the option to opt-out of having their confidential information used for purposes beyond their individual care and treatment.

Health records contain a type of data called confidential patient information. This data can be used to help with research and planning. Under the national data opt-out service, individuals can choose to stop their confidential patient information being used for research and planning.

By 30 September 2021 all health and care organisations are required to be compliant with the national data opt-out policy.

Patient control of information

Individuals may choose to prevent their confidential information from being shared or used for any purpose other than providing care.

There are two choices available:

1. Individuals can object to their information leaving a GP practice in an identifiable form for purposes other than direct care. 

This means that confidential information will not be shared with other organisation for non-direct care purpose. This is referred to as a ‘type 1 objection'; or

2. Individuals can object to their information leaving NHS Digital in an identifiable form.

This means that confidential information will not be sent to anyone outside NHS Digital. This is referred to as a ‘type 2 objection'.

Individuals who decide that they do not wish their personal information to be shared and used for purposes other than for their care and treatment should contact the GP practice who they are registered with and ask for further information about how to register their objections. This should not affect the care and treatment they receive.

For further information and support relating to type 2 opt-outs please contact NHS Digital on (0300) 303 5678; or visit their website:

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