Junior Doctors Strike 24th Feb to 28th Feb 2024

National Data Opt-Out Compliance

What is this?

The NDOP is basically the national replacement for the “type 2” opt-out i.e. when the patient wishes to opt out of use of their data for anything except direct care. 

We are all required to be compliant by March 2020, so have to evidence we are implementing it in general practice.

An RCN leaflet summarises it well, please check it here.

More detailed Info

https://www.rcgp.org.uk/patientdatachoices has got great guidance and summarises the other websites on this, it’s a good place to go if I’ve not covered it here.

Patient Communications

There are posters available from https://digital.nhs.uk/services/national-data-opt-out/supporting-patients-information-and-resources

These should be displayed in public areas of surgeries.


You need to review all documents and remove type 2 opt-out from them, replacing with the National Data Opt-out.


All providers are updating their systems to implement the opt-out. There’s a guide here for EMIS regarding use of the type 2 code after the date, which may be worth checking



You need new policy in place to cover this. I suggest adding the following to your Data Protection Policy:

National Data opt-out for Health and Care Data

A system of opt-out for use of health and care personal data (including pseudonymised data) has been implemented by the NHS. We are required to comply with this. We will therefore:

Ensure that all data extracts for non-direct care purposes are filtered to remove patients who have opted out

Ensure that we make patients aware of their rights.

Where data is being manually extracted for non-care purposes, we will ensure that records are manually checked for opt-out.

Staff Training

There’s some materials on the RCGP site, but I’d suggest that training focus around the RCN leaflet which covers the basics well.


Privacy Notice

You need to update your privacy notices to include the following text:

How the NHS and care services use your information

Whenever you use a health or care service, such as attending Accident & Emergency or using Community Care services, important information about you is collected in a patient record for that service. Collecting this information helps to ensure you get the best possible care and treatment.

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 where allowed by law. 

Most of the time, anonymised data is used for research and planning so that you cannot be identified 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-mattersOn 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/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:

https://www.hra.nhs.uk/information-about-patients/ (which covers health and care research); and

https://understandingpatientdata.org.uk/what-you-need-know (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.

Health and care organisations have until 2020 to put systems and processes in place so they can be compliant with the national data opt-out and apply your choice to any confidential patient information they use or share for purposes beyond your individual care. Our organisation is compliant with the national data opt-out policy.