National data opt-out system for patients

National data opt-out system for patients

April 30, 2018

NHS Digital is developing a national data opt-out system to give patients the opportunity to make an informed choice about whether they wish for their personal identifiable information to be used for research and planning purposes. The national data opt-out will not apply to, or affect the necessary usages of data for the patient’s individual care and treatment.

Patients will be able to set their opt-out from 25th May 2017, and all health and care organisations will be required to uphold this by March 2020.

Community pharmacy contractors may need to signpost patients to the system so are recommended to familiarise themselves with how the opt-out system will work.

What is the opt-out?

The opt-out system will allow patients to directly express an opt-out preference of their personal identifiable information being used for:

  • research purposes – such as finding ways to improve treatments; and
  • planning purposes – such as data use to improve delivery of health services.

Patients will be able to find more information and express the opt-out preference by:

  • Visiting the website portal; or
  • Calling NHS Digital’s contact centre phoneline number.

The patient-facing web link is scheduled to go live on 25th May 2018. After the release of the system, contractors are advised to signpost patients that ask about opt-out to the patient-facing website where patients will be able to read more information or call NHS Digital.

Further information

For more information please visit our National data opt-out system for patients webpage.


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