We are committed to protecting your privacy. You can access our website without giving us any information about yourself. But sometimes we do need information to provide services that you request, and this statement of privacy explains data collection and use in those situations.
In general, you can visit our web site without telling us who you are and without revealing any information about yourself. However there may be occasions when you choose to give us personal information, for example, when you choose to contact us or request information from us. We will ask you when we need information that personally identifies you or allows us to contact you.
We collect the personal data that you may volunteer while using our services. We do not collect information about our visitors from other sources, such as public records or bodies, or private organisations. We do not collect or use personal data for any purpose other than that indicated below:
- To send you confirmation of requests that you have made to us
- To send you information when you request it
We intend to protect the quality and integrity of your personally identifiable information and we have implemented appropriate technical and organisational measures to do so. We ensure that your personal data will not be disclosed to State institutions and authorities except if required by law or other regulation.
Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our site, you should be aware that we don’t have any control over the other website. Therefore, we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting these sites.
How the NHS Uses Your Data
Information about your health and care helps us to improve your individual care, speed up diagnosis, plan your local services and research new treatments.
In May 2018, the strict rules about how this data can and cannot be used were strengthened. The NHS is committed to keeping patient information safe and always being clear about how it is used.
What is confidential patient data?
Confidential patient information identifies you and says something about your health, care or treatment. You would expect this information to be kept private. Information that only identifies you, like your name and address, is not considered confidential patient information and may still be used: for example, to contact you if your GP practice is merging with another.
How is your data used?
Your health and care information is used to improve your individual care. It is also used to help us research new treatments, decide where to put GP clinics and plan for the number of doctors and nurses in your local hospital. Wherever possible we try to use data that does not identify you, but sometimes it is necessary to use your confidential patient information.
Who can use your confidential patient information for research and planning?
It is used by the NHS, local authorities, university and hospital researchers, medical colleges and pharmaceutical companies researching new treatments.
Choosing to opt-out
No, it is not compulsory. The national data opt-out service allows patients to opt out of their confidential patient information being used for research and planning. If you choose to opt out of the scheme, then you will need to visit www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters/manage-your-choice/ to register objections.
It is important to note that the National Data Opt-Outs do not apply to confidential patient information disclosed by NHS Digital in some situations. There may still be times when your confidential patient information is used: for example, during an epidemic where there might be a risk to you or to other people’s health. You can also still consent to take part in a specific research project.
Will choosing to opt-out affect your care and treatment?
No, your confidential patient information will still be used for your individual care. Choosing to opt out will not affect your care and treatment. You will still be invited for screening services, such as screenings for bowel cancer.
For further information visit www.digital.nhs.uk/services/national-data-opt-out.