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What does the national data opt-out mean for you?


The NHS is introducing a new service to give you more control over how your confidential patient information is used for research and planning. 

From 25 May, you have the choice to opt-out of your confidential patient information being used to help the NHS improve how it runs services. There are strict rules in place about how this data is used and who will have access to it. For example, confidential patient information will not be used for marketing or insurance purposes (unless you specifically request this). 

The NHS will still be able to use anonymised data (information about you with personal details removed).

Find out more about the national data opt-out

How do people feel about their data being shared by the NHS?

People’s patient records play a vital role in informing medical research and changes to health and social care. Advances in understanding diseases and developing treatments have been possible because of access to patient data, resulting in positive benefits to people. Today, with the help of technology, researchers are making huge progress in areas such as genomics, which could revolutionise health and care for future generations.

However, with recent news headlines reporting issues with the way organisations, such as Cambridge Analytica and Facebook handle our data, people are concerned about how their information is used. 

Healthwatch England asked over 2,000 people what they thought about their data being shared by the NHS. 77% of the public say they are confident in the ability of the NHS to protect their patient data. Are you?

Read more

Two ladies discussing the NHS sharing patient data


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