Data Opt Outs

Your data matters to us at Montpelier Health.

In a letter to all GPs, 19 July 2021, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Jo Churchill set out a new process for commencing data collection, moving away from a previously fixed date of 1 September.

  • Your GP holds your health record, for use by us and other parts of the NHS for your direct care.
  • NHS Digital also uses some of this data for research, planning, and improving the NHS for everyone.

About the General Practice Data for Planning and Research programme

A new NHS Digital service will collect data from GP practices in England and will analyse, publish statistical data and provide safe, secure, lawful and appropriate access to GP data for health and social care purposes. This will include planning, commissioning, policy development, public health purposes (including COVID-19) and research.

NHS Digital is engaging with the British Medical Association (BMA), Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the National Data Guardian (NDG) to ensure relevant safeguards for this new system are in place for patients and GP practices.

Opting out of sharing your Data outside your GP Practice

If you don’t want your identifiable patient data to be shared for purposes except for your own care, you can opt-out by registering a

or both.

Your individual care will not be affected if you opt-out using either option.

TYPE 1 OPT OUT is opting out of NHS digital collecting your data.

NATIONAL DATA OPT OUT is opting out of NHS digital sharing your data for research and planning purposes.

Type 1 opt out:

If you don’t want your identifiable patient data to be shared for purposes except for your own care, you can opt-out by registering a Type 1 Opt-out.

The NHS wants to make the position around opt-out much simpler. While 1 September has been seen by some as a cut-off date for opt-out, after which data extraction would begin, we want to reassure you that this will not be the case and data extraction will not commence until the NHS systems have met the tests.

There are three changes to the opt-out system which mean that patients will be able to change their opt-out status at any time:

  • Patients do not need to register a Type 1 opt-out by 1 September to ensure their GP data will not be uploaded
  • NHS Digital will create the technical means to allow GP data that has previously been uploaded to the system to be deleted when someone registers a Type 1 opt-out
  • The plan to retire Type 1 opt-outs will be deferred for at least 12 months while we get the new arrangements up and running, and will not be implemented without consultation with the RCGP, the BMA and the National Data Guardian

Together, these changes mean that patients can have confidence that they will have the ability to opt-in or opt-out of the system, and that the dataset will always reflect their current preference. And we will ensure it is easy for them to exercise the choice to opt out.

National Data Opt-Out (opting out of NHS Digital sharing your data):

  • The National Data opt-out is a service that allows patients to opt out of their confidential patient information being used for research and planning.
  • NHS Digital won’t share any confidential patient information about you – this includes GP data, or other data we hold, such as hospital data – with other organisations, unless there is an exemption to this, for example if we have a legal obligation to share the data or if it is in the public interest.
  • Patients can view or change their national data opt-out choice at any time by using the online service at www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters or by clicking on “Your Health” in the NHS App, and selecting “Choose if data from your health records is shared for research and planning”.
  • For further technical information, please read the GP Data for Planning and Research Transparency Notice.

Data Security and Governance

The Government has committed that access to GP data will only be via a Trusted Research Environment (TRE) and never copied or shipped outside the NHS secure environment, except where individuals have consented to their data being accessed e.g. written consent for a research study. This is intended to give both GPs and patients a very high degree of confidence that their data will be safe and their privacy protected.

Please see our Privacy Notice for further information.

If you want any more information, please contact our Data Protection officer kelly@almc.co.uk.

More information can also be found on the NHS digital website.

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