National data opt-out


The national data opt-out was introduced on 25 May 2018, enabling patients to opt out from the use of their data for research or planning purposes, in line with the recommendations of the National Data Guardian in her Review of Data Security, Consent and Opt-Outs.

Organisations have been required to honour the National Data Opt-out since 31 July 2022.

All organisations should now be complying with the National Data Opt-Out, unless there is a specific reasons not to do so as set out in the operation policy guidance.

Information on the National Data Opt-Out policy.

GP clinical system functionality

To help GP practices to become compliant and to apply national data opt-outs, the principal GP IT system suppliers are implementing new functionality in the reporting and search modules within their clinical systems. The functionality will enable practices to easily remove the records of patients who have registered a national data opt-out from data disclosures when the practice decides the opt-out applies. Your supplier will be updating you about this new functionality, and you should contact them if you have questions.

This new functionality should be available in your system’s reporting and search modules before the deadline.

In TPP SystmOne, there is a report option under Data Dissemination.

Guidance to prevent use of type 2 opt-out codes and identify if they have been used in error

Follow the guidance for the clinical system you use in your GP practice.

TPP SystmOne: guidance on invalid type 2 codes

EMIS Web: guidance on invalid type 2 codes

Vision: guidance on invalid type 2 codes

Microtest: guidance on invalid type 2 codes


Patients can view or change their national data opt-out choice at any time by using the online service at or by clicking on "Your Health" in the NHS App, and selecting "Choose if data from your health records is shared for research and planning".

  • A type 1 opt out prevents information being shared outside a GP practice for purposes other than direct care.
  • A type 2 opt out prevented information being shared outside NHS Digital for purposes beyond the individual's direct care.

From 25 May 2018 the type 2 opt-out has been replaced by the national data opt-out.

To do this you need to fill in an opt-out form and return it to your GP surgery.  Download a Type 1 Opt-out form.
Only your GP surgery can process your opt-out form.  They will be able to tell you if, and when, you have been opted out.

First Published
19 June 2023
Updated On
6 May 2024
Due to be Reviewed
17 June 2025
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