There have been recent posts on social media/news outlets/ The One Show with information about opting out of sharing your data with the NHS.
This information is and has been available in our Privacy Notice since 2018 and posters have been displayed around in the Practice since then.
We agree it is quite confusing!
Step 1 Opt-out
If you live in England and want to stop your GP data leaving your GP practice for purposes other than your direct care, you can do so by filling in and giving or posting the form in step 1 to your GP:
1) Protect your GP data: fill in and give this ‘Type 1’ form to your GP practice [PDF] [or MS Word] – this form allows you to include details for your children and dependants as well. This is the most urgent step; the deadline to get your form to your GP practice is 23 June 2021, according to NHS Digital.
2) If you want to stop your non-GP data, such as hospital or clinic treatments, being used/sold for purposes other than your direct care (e.g. for “research and planning“) you must use this process:
⇒ If it’s just for yourself, use NHS Digital’s online National Data Opt-out process – this process only works for individuals aged 13 and over.
⇒ If you have children under 13, you need to fill in this form [PDF] and e-mail or post it back to NHS Digital – this form works for both you and your children.
⇒ If you have an adult dependant for whom you have legal responsibility, you must use this form [PDF] and send it back to NHS Digital on their behalf.
There is no deadline for step 2, the National Data Opt-out (i.e. your non-GP data), but the sooner you do it, the sooner it takes effect. The National Data Opt-out will not stop your GP data being extracted by the new GP data collection.
So in a nutshell:
- You can opt out at any time
- NHS Digital will never sell your data.
- There are strict rules about how NHS can use your data. It’s only shared securely and safely.
- Shared data helps the NHS. It has been used to find the first treatment for coronavirus and for vaccine research.