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. This data is critical to help manage the outbreak to protect the needs of the general public. The national data opt-out will return once this health crisis has been ended.

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.

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

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 30 September, pending the government’s decision to extend as and when necessary.

Contact us

For enquiries and questions contact: or call our enquiry line on: 020 3688 1900 (available Mon-Friday 9.00 - 5.30)