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Mayfield Medical Centre

Mayfield Medical Centre

national health service

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If you do not Opt Out then you are consideredto be opted in by default by the Government.


What is the national data opt-out?

The national data opt-out has replaced ‘type 2 opt-outs’. It was introduced in May 2018 in line with the recommendations set out in the National Data Guardian’s Review of Data Security, Consent and Opt-outs of 2016.



National Data Opt-out FAQs

1. What is the national data opt-out?

It is a service that enables the public to register to opt out of their confidential patient information being used for purposes beyond their individual care and treatment. It was introduced for the health and social care system in England on 25 May 2018. The public can change their national data opt-out choice at any time via www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters or by calling NHS Digital contact centre on 0300 3035678 or via the NHS App.


2. Which organisations need to comply with national data opt-out policy?

The national data opt-out applies to data for patients where their care is provided in England by a publicly funded organisation or the care has been arranged by a public body such as the NHS or a Local Authority, it does not apply to data related to private patients at private providers.


3. When do organisations need to comply?

The Department of Health and Social Care require all health and adult social care organisations to comply with the policy by March 2020 as set out in the information standard: DCB3058 Compliance with National Data Opt-outs. Compliance by this date also ensures organisations can complete the evidence item ‘compliance with national data opt-out policy’ in the Data Security and Protection toolkit (www.dsptoolkit.nhs.uk/) for 2019/20.


4. Which data disclosures do national data opt-outs apply to?

National data opt-outs apply to a disclosure when an organisation e.g. a research body confirms they have approval from the Confidentiality Advisory Group (CAG) for the disclosure of confidential patient information held by another organisation responsible for the data (the data controller), such as an NHS Trust or GP practice.The CAG approval is also known as a section 251 approval and refers to section 251 of the National Health Service Act 2006 and its current Regulations, the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002.


The NHS Act 2006 and the Regulations enable the common law duty of confidentiality to be temporarily lifted so that confidential patient information can be disclosed without the data controller being in breach of the common law duty of confidentiality.  In practice, this means that the organisation responsible for the information (the data controller) can, if they wish, disclose the information to the data applicant (e.g. research body) with section 251 approval without being in breach of the common law duty of confidentiality.


It is only in these cases where the national data opt-out will apply unless a specific exemption has been granted,


National data opt-outs do not apply where:

  • information being disclosed is anonymised in accordance with the Information Commissioner’s Office anonymisation code of practice
  • the individual has given their consent for their information to be used for a particular purpose, (e.g. a specific research study).
  • there is an overriding public interest in the disclosure, (i.e. the public interest in disclosing the data overrides the public interest in maintaining confidentiality), also referred to as the ‘public interest test’.
  • there is a legal requirement that sets aside the common law duty of confidentiality or the information is required by a court order

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