National Data Opt Out

The National Data Opt Out is a service that allows NHS patients to opt out of their confidential patient information being used for research and planning by either the NHS or other organisations.

The NHS may use your confidential patient information in two different ways:

Your direct care - Health professionals may use your confidential patient information to inform your treatment. For example, your GP may need to access and update your ongoing healthcare record when you attend an appointment.

Research and planning - Confidential patient information is also used by various organisations, including Universities to:

  • plan and improve health and care services
  • research serious diseases and conditions

The University is usually able to conduct research using anonymised data so don’t always rely on personally identifiable data.

Where you have a choice

If you don't want your patient data to be used for University research, you can opt out of this.

If you do opt-out, there are some specific situations where your data may still be used – the use of anonymised will not be affected by your opt-out as you cannot be identified from this data.

Your confidential patient information will still be used to support your direct medical care, only research uses of the data.

If you opt-out, your decision will only apply within the health and care system in England. Your opt-out will not apply to your health data where you have accessed health or care services outside of England, such as in Scotland and Wales.

For further information and details on how to opt-out please visit 

Page updated: 21 February 2024

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