In May 2018, a new national data opt-out was introduced following recommendations from the National Data Guardian. Individuals can opt out of having their confidential patient information shared for reasons beyond their individual care, for example for research and planning. You do not need to do anything if you are happy about how your confidential patient information is used. You can find out more and set your opt-out choice at nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters.
There are two different opt-out types which both refer to information sharing for purposes other than that of direct patient care:
Type 1 opt-out: Medical Records held at your GP practice
You can tell your GP practice if you do not want your confidential patient information held in your GP medical record to be used for purposes other than your individual care. This is commonly called a type 1 opt-out. This opt-out request can only be recorded by your GP practice.
National data opt-out – Information held by NHS Digital  .
Previously you could tell your GP practice if you did not want NHS Digital to share confidential patient information that they collect from across the health and care service for purposes other than your individual care. This was previously called a type 2 opt-out. The type 2 opt-out has been replaced by the national data opt-out. Type 2 opt-outs recorded on or before 11 October 2018 have been automatically converted to national data opt-outs.
The national data opt-out does not apply where:
data is shared for your individual care;
there is a risk to public health or data is required for monitoring and control of infectious diseases, for example during an epidemic;
there is an overriding public interest;
there is a legal requirement to share information, for example:
investigations by regulators of professionals;
NHS fraud investigations;
notification of food poisoning;
you have consented to take part in a specific project;
anonymised data is used.
NHS Digital monitors the number of patients applying their opt-out rights through aggregated  data sources. Whilst patients have the right to opt out of having their data shared for purposes other than direct patient care, sharing data allows the NHS to better understand the needs of patients. It also allows for more comprehensive performance monitoring of services and allows organisations to adequately benchmark themselves. This allows care providers and commissioners to work collaboratively to improve the quality of, and accessibility to, local services.
 See Appendix B ‘Key Definitions’ – NHS Digital
 See Appendix B ‘Key Definitions’ - Aggregated Data