North London Partners in health and care

Opting out of the joined-up health and care record


Changes to opt out during the Covid-19 pandemic

The health and social care system is facing significant pressures due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Health and care information is essential to deliver care to individuals, to support health and social care services and to protect public health. Information will also be vital in researching, monitoring, tracking and managing the outbreak. In the current emergency it has become even more important to share health and care information across relevant organisations.

The national data opt-out, which allows patients to opt out of data sharing for other purposes, including researching, monitoring and tracking, is not currently available due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Existing law which allows confidential patient information to be used and shared appropriately and lawfully in a public health emergency is being used during this coronavirus outbreak. Using this law, the Secretary of State has required NHS Digital, NHS England and Improvement, Arms Length Bodies (such as Public Health England), local authorities, health organisations and GPs to share confidential patient information to respond to the covid-19 outbreak. This directive is currently in place until 31st March 2021 and may be subject to further review

Further information is available via NHS Digital national data opt-out information pages.

The national data opt-out will return once this health crisis has been ended.

What does this mean for people living in North Central London?

In North Central London, we are taking action to make sure the NHS is able to care for patients who are admitted to hospital because of coronavirus, and also to ensure patients with other urgent health problems get the treatment they need.

All health and care organisations are legally required to share and process data. This will ensure health and care professionals have access to vital information to make quicker, safer decisions about your care.  Changes to opt out during the Covid-19 pandemic mean that even if you previously opted out of sharing your health and care record, it will now be visible to London organisations providing you with care The change will continue in line with the government’s Covid-19 Notice mandating the sharing of health and care patient data, currently until 31 March 2021, pending the government’s decision to extend as and when necessary.

Thinking of opting out?

We ask you to think carefully before opting out of joined-up records. Sharing your health and social care information will make it easier for services to provide the best treatment and care for you. Please note that if you opt out of electronic record sharing, your information will continue to be shared, as it is now, by email, telephone and paper.

Read more about why this is so important and what the benefits of joined-up care records are for residents.  

How to opt out

Please download and complete our opt-out form, or obtain a leaflet from your GP practice. The form requires your signature to show that you have understood that you will not benefit from electronic joined-up records, which will make it easier for services to provide the best treatment and care for you.

We need your NHS number to be able to process your request to opt out.

If you don’t know your NHS number please visit: www.england.nhs.uk/contact-us/how-can-we-help/how-can-i-find-out-my-nhs-number/ or ask your GP practice.

How to return the form

To return the form please put it in the post, using the FREEPOST address provided (no postcode required):  "FREEPOST NLP – JOINED UP CARE RECORD"

Please DO NOT email your completed form to us as your personal email address may not be a secure way to send personal information. 

PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, WE ARE REQUIRED TO SHARE ALL RECORDS FOR THE PURPOSES OF COVID-19 AND OPT-OUTS ARE NOT PERMITTED. For this reason, we will commence processing opt-outs when the emergency is ended.

How to opt back in

If you have opted out of the electronic joined-up records and you change your mind, you can decide to opt in again at any time.

To opt in contact us and request an opt in form, email joined-up.care-record@nhs.net or call 020 3688 1900 (available Mon-Friday 9.00 - 5.00)

When we receive the completed form, we will add your health records to the joined up records system.

Contact us

For enquiries and questions contact: joined-up.care-record@nhs.net or call our enquiry line on: 020 3688 1900 (available Mon-Friday 9.00 - 5.00)