General Practice Data for Planning and Research

GP practices in England are legally required to share data with NHS Digital for Planning and Research under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (2012 Act).

More information about this requirement is contained in the data provision notice issued by NHS Digital to GP practices

You can learn more about how NHS Digital uses your data here: General Practice Data for Planning and Research: GP Practice Privacy Notice – NHS Digital

If you don’t want your identifiable patient data (personally identifiable data in the diagram above) to be shared for purposes except for your own care, you can opt-out by registering a Type 1 Opt-out or a National Data Opt-out, or both. These opt-outs are different and they are explained in more detail below. Your individual care will not be affected if you opt out using either option.

Type 1 Opt-out (opting out of NHS Digital collecting your data)

If you do not want your identifiable patient data to be shared outside of the GP practice for purposes except your own care, you can register an opt-out with the GP practice. This is known as a Type 1 Opt-out.

Type 1 Opt-outs were introduced in 2013 for data sharing from GP practices, but may be discontinued in the future as a new opt-out has since been introduced to cover the broader health and care system, called the National Data Opt-out. If this happens, patients who have registered a Type 1 Opt-out will be informed. There is more information about National Data Opt-outs below.

NHS Digital will not collect any patient data for patients who have already registered a Type 1 Opt-in line with current policy. If this changes patients who have registered a Type 1 Opt-out will be informed.

If you do not want your patient data shared with NHS Digital for the purposes above, you can register a Type 1 Opt-out with your GP practice. You can register a Type 1 Opt-out at any time. You can also change your mind at any time and withdraw a Type 1 Opt-out.

Data sharing with NHS Digital will start on 1 September 2021.

If you have already registered a Type 1 Opt-out with your GP practice your data will not be shared with NHS Digital.

If you wish to register a Type 1 Opt-out with your GP practice before data sharing starts with NHS Digital, this should be done by returning this form to your GP practice by 27 August 2021 to allow time for processing it. If you have previously registered a Type 1 Opt-out and you would like to withdraw this, you can also use the form to do this. You can send the form by post or email to your GP practice or call 0300 3035678 for a form to be sent out to you.