General Practice Data for Planning and Research


How the NHS and care services use your information

Your health records contain a type of data called confidential patient information; this information identifies you and says something about your health, care or treatment. This data can be used for your individual care and to help with research and planning.

Your individual care

Health and care staff may use your confidential patient information to help with your treatment and care. For example, when you visit your GP they may look at your records for important information about your health.

Research and planning

Confidential patient information might also be used by the NHS, local authorities, university and hospital researchers, medical colleges and pharmaceutical companies researching new treatments to:

  • plan and improve health and care services
  • research and develop cures for serious illnesses

Information about your health and care helps the NHS 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.

To find out more visit:

You can also find out more about how patient information is used at:


If you are happy with your confidential patient information being used for research and planning you do not need to do anything.

If you do not want your confidential patient information to be used for research and planning you can choose to opt out securely online at:  or by calling 0300 3035678.

Choosing to opt out will not affect your care or treatment.

You can change your choice at any time.

The Red House Surgery does not share your data with other people or organisations, nor is it used for marketing purposes, unless you have given your specific agreement.

NHS Digital

NHS Digital collects, analyses, publishes and shares health and care data to improve health, care and services through planning and research. This includes:

  • informing and developing health and social care policy
  • planning and commissioning health and care services
  • taking steps to protect public health (including managing and monitoring the coronavirus pandemic)
  • in exceptional circumstances, providing you with individual care
  • enabling healthcare and scientific research

Any data that NHS Digital collects will only be used for health and care purposes. It is never shared with marketing or insurance companies.

NHS Digital does not collect your name or address. Any other data is de-personalised which means that any information which could identify you, e.g. date of birth or NHS number is replaced with a unique code.

From 1st September 2021 NHS Digital can share this de-personalised information with other organisations – see below

  • Data which is shared by NHS Digital is subject to robust rules relating to privacy, security and confidentiality. Organisations using this data must have a clear legal basis to do so for health and care purposes and only the minimum amount of data needed to meet the specific purpose will be made available.
  • More information about how and why NHS Digital will share data from GP practices is available in our General Practice Data for Planning and Research Transparency Notice. NHS Digital also publish information about the data that they share in their data release register.