In May 2018, the strict rules about how your confidential patient information, often referred to as data, can and cannot be used were strengthened. The NHS is committed to keeping patient information safe and always being clear about how it is used.
You can choose if your confidential patient information can be used to help with new treatments and planning services (often referred to as research and planning).
Information about your health and care helps the NHS to:
- Look after you better and improve your individual care
- Speed up diagnosis
- Plan local services eg GP clinics
- Research new treatments
How would my information be used to help with new treatments and planning services?
If you are happy for your confidential patient information being used the team will try not to use your name on information used for things like planning.
The information will be used to help us research new treatments, decide where to put clinics and plan for the number of staff in your locality.
Sometimes your details and information about your health, care and treatment will be used.
Who can use your confidential patient information to help with new
treatments and planning services?
Your patient confidential information can be used by:
- The NHS
- Adult Social Care
- Universities and medical colleges
- Companies inventing and testing new medicines
Choosing if you want your confidential patient information to be used to help with new treatments and planning services
It’s up to you if you want your confidential patient information to be used to help with new treatments and planning services. If you decided not to share your confidential information that will not change your care at all. You will continue to receive invites for things like screening for bowel cancer.
Deciding what to do
If you are happy about how your confidential information is used you do not have to do anything else.
If you do not want your confidential patient information to be used to help with new treatments and planning services you can opt-out.
How to opt-out
If you don’t want your health and care information to be used for research and planning you can opt-out. The decision you make will not affect your individual care and you can change your mind at any time.
You can opt-out online or by calling the helpline: 0300 303 5678
If you are 13 or over and would like to opt-out you can do so yourself.
If you are under 13 your parent or guardian will need to make the decision and set a national data opt-out on your behalf.
Remember, you can change your choice at any time.
You can find out more information about the national data opt-out programme here.