There have been a number of reports in the media recently, including the BBC1 programme, The One Show, about the NHS “selling” patient information. For clarity, the NHS does not sell patient level information. This article was in reference to the National Data Opt Out (NDOO).
The NDOO is about patients who do not wish to be contacted by the NHS for the purposes of planning or research. Planning for example, would be a re-configuration of NHS services. If a patient opts out, they will not be contacted for their views.
The NHS will only make available completely anonymous information. The most obvious one at the moment, is the number of people in hospital with COVID-19. Please be reassured that your personal data is completely safe. If you do wish to opt out of data sharing for the purpose of planning and research then please complete the form on the NHS Digital website and hand it in at the surgery https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/data-collections-and-data-sets/data-collections/general-practice-data-for-planning-and-research.
More accurate information about how your data is shared can be found below.
You can tell your GP practice 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.
Previously you could tell your GP practice if you did not want NHS Digital to share confidential patient information that we collect from across the health and care service for purposes other than your individual care. Any patient who now wishes to register for the Type 2 opt out must do so via the NHS Digital website (link below)
Patients were originally asked to register their preferences to Opt Out by 23rd June; this was then extended to the 1st July. The deadline for compliance with the national data opt-out policy is now 30 September 2021. The deadline has been extended, to enable health and care organisations to focus their resources on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Type 2 data will help to support the planning and commissioning of health and care services. If the patient has already registered for Type 1 opt out the information will not be collected. If a patient registers for Type 1 by the deadline above, the information will not be collected. The patient can still register for Type 1 at any other date and this will be honored, although NHS Digital may have already collected some information, which will still be held.
For more information and to make your decision about NDOO please visit the website below: