National Data Opt-Out
For further information about the Council’s processing of personal data please see our Privacy Notices.
This information was last updated on 15 June 2023.
Find out about how your information may be used for purposes beyond your individual care and how to register your choice to opt out:
The NHS National Data Opt-Out allows individuals to opt out of their confidential patient information being used for research and planning purposes.
NHS organisations and local authorities that are part of the health and adult social care system in England must apply the national data opt-out to confidential patient information that originates within that system. Confidential patient information includes information about both health and social care of individuals.
Health service providers, private providers, local authorities, and public health organisations all most consider opt-outs when processing information for purposes beyond individual care. The opt-out policy also applies to health and care services commissioned by local authorities in England, irrespective of the providing organisation.
There are some exclusions to the opt-out policy, including specifically:
- children’s social care and education services (where regulated by Ofsted or the Department for Education)
- health-related data that originates and is shared outside of the health and adult social care system in England, for example data produced by or shared with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), or Courts
- any information that has been generated solely for research purposes
The Council publishes privacy notices for all services where personal data is processed to inform individuals how we use such data. Information Sharing Agreements are in place with partners and organisations where there is an ongoing need to share data.
How we and other organisations use your confidential patient information
Worcestershire County Council is one of many organisations working in the health and care system to improve care for patients and the public.
Whenever you use a care service provided by the Council, important information about you is collected in a client record for that service. Collecting this information helps to ensure you get the best possible care.
The information collected about you when you use these services can also be used and 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
This may only take place when there is a clear legal basis to use this information. 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 when allowed by law.
Most of the time, anonymised or pseudonymised data is used for research and planning so that you cannot be identified and in which case your confidential patient information isn’t needed.
You have a choice about whether you want your confidential patient information to be used in this way. If you are happy with this use of information you do not need to do anything. If you do choose to opt out your confidential patient information will still be used to support your individual care.
To find out more or to register your choice to opt out, please visit www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters. On this web page you will:
- see what is meant by confidential patient information
- find examples of when confidential patient information is used for individual care and examples of when it is used for purposes beyond individual care
- find out more about the benefits of sharing data
- understand more about who uses the data
- find out how your data is protected
- be able to access the system to view, set or change your opt-out setting
- find the contact telephone number if you want to know any more or to set or change your opt-out by phone
- see the situations where the opt-out will not apply
You can also find out more about how patient information is used at:
- NHS Health Research Authority (which covers health and care research); and
- Understanding Patient Data (which covers how and why patient information is used, the safeguards and how decisions are made)
You can change your mind about your choice at any time.
Data being used or shared for purposes beyond individual care does not include your data being shared with insurance companies or used for marketing purposes and data would only be used in this way with your specific agreement.
Providing accurate information
It is important that we hold accurate and up to date information about you to assess your needs and deliver the appropriate services. If any of your details have changed, or change in the future, please tell us so that we can update your records
Compliance with the National Data Opt-Out
The Council is currently compliant with the National Data Opt-Out policy, with respect to confidential patient information that includes the NHS number of the individual. We are unable to apply the opt-out policy where we do not hold your NHS number, but we are working to increase our recording of NHS numbers in social care records. We have a procedure in place to identity and apply the National Data Opt-Out to any processing that is covered by the National Data Opt-Out.