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Data Opt Out

Are you happy to share your NHS data?

There are tremendous advantages in having health data available to researchers and policy makers at a local and national level. There is a lot more information in the GP notes held by NHS IT systems than is currently available to people outside your GP Practice.

A plan is underway to upload data from GP IT systems to make a lot more detail accessible to people not directly involved in your healthcare. Protections are in place to protect identity, but these fall short of true anonymisation.

The plan was announced in the Spring, with a short notice period for people to opt out. After pressure from national medical bodies, the planned data sharing was postponed to the first of September. This gives people more time to explore what it means and opt out if they wish.

What you need to know:

-you have the right to opt out

-your decision has no impact on your own care

-the data is going to help healthcare planning and improve services

-there are 2 types of opt out:

1 National Data – National data opt-out – NHS Digital  (you’ll need to do this online)

2 GP Data =Type 1 Data.   (to opt out, submit a form online to the Practice or fill in a printed version we have at reception)

-if you opt out by September 1st your data will not be shared, you can opt out after that date to stop new data being shared but the past 10 years data will have already been shared and this is not retrievable (there may be a further delay to this opt out date, confirmation awaited).

We can see the real value in this data being shared but feel the importance of informed consent has been set aside by policy makers. For us the overriding principle is the confidence that you have in us to protect your confidential information. We have no influence to change this process but wanted to take this opportunity to ensure you understand what is happening and your choices.

Dr Simon Morris, Partner

July 2021