The National Data Opt-Out

The London Borough of Hounslow is one of many organisations working in the health and care system to improve care for patients and the public.

By 31 July 2022 all health and care organisations must be compliant with the National Data Opt-Out policy.  This means you can choose to stop your confidential patient information being used for research and planning. You can also make a choice for someone in your care, such as children under the age of 13.

The information collected about you when you use our services may be provided to other organisations for purposes beyond your individual care, for instance to help with:

  • improving the quality and standards of care provided
  • research into the development of new treatments
  • preventing illness and diseases 
  • monitoring safety
  • planning services

All these uses help to provide better health and care for you, your family and future generations. Confidential patient information about your health and care is only used like this where allowed by law.

Most of the time, anonymised data is used for research and planning so that you cannot be identified in which case your confidential patient information isn’t needed.

How can I make a choice?

To view and change your national data opt-out choice at any time please use the NHS service directly via or by calling 0300 3035678. Please note, the Council cannot apply an opt-out for an individual.

If you do choose to opt out your confidential patient information will still be used to support your individual care.

Should a situation arise where we did need to use or share confidential patient information for one of the above purposes, and we had a lawful right to do so, we will review the NHS National Data Opt-Out register to determine whether we are able to use your confidential patient information.

When does this not apply?

There are certain instances where the opt out does not apply e.g where you have given consent, or it is requested via a court order. Further information on exemptions is available on the NHS website.

This does not apply to data provided to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), please view their notice here.

Further Information

You can also find out more about how patient information is used at NHS information about patients, which covers health and care research, and understanding patient data, which explains how and why patient information is used, the safeguards and how decisions are made.

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