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 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 form 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 of how to opt out please visit www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters/
Last update: 24 September 2020
Back to: Legal & Governance