How Information About You Helps To Provide Better Care


How Information About You Helps To Provide Better Care

Benefits of sharing information

Sharing information can help improve understanding, locally and nationally, of the most important health needs and the quality of the treatment and care provided by local health services. It may also help researchers by supporting studies that identify patterns in diseases, responses to different treatments and potential solutions. Information will also help to:

    • find more effective ways of preventing, treating and managing illnesses;
    • guide local decisions about changes that are needed to respond to the needs of local patients;
    • support public health by anticipating risks of particular diseases and conditions, and help us to take action to prevent problems;
    • improve public understanding of the outcomes of care, giving them confidence in health and care services; and
    • guide decisions about how to manage NHS resources fairly so that they can best support the treatment and management of illness for the benefit of patients.

What will the NHS do with the information?

The NHS will only use the minimum amount of information they need to help improve patient care and the services the NHS provides.  A thorough process has been developed that must be followed before any information can be shared.  The NHS sometimes releases information to approved researchers, if this is allowed under the strict rules in place to protect your privacy.  The NHS is very careful with the information and follows strict rules about how it is stored and used.  The NHS will make sure that the way they use information is in line with the law, national guidance and best practice.  Reports that they publish will never identify a particular person.


Do I have a choice?

Yes. You have the right to prevent confidential information about you from being shared or used for any purpose other than providing your care, except in special circumstances. If you do not want information that identifies you to be shared outside your GP practice, please write to your practice to make a note of this in your medical record. This will prevent your confidential information being used other than where necessary by law, (for example, if there is a public health emergency).

You will also be able to restrict the use of information held by other places you receive care, such as hospitals and community services. You should let your GP know if you want to restrict the use of this information.

Your choice will not affect the care you receive.

Do I need to do anything?

If you are happy for your information to be shared you do not need to do anything.  There is no form to fill in and nothing to sign and you can change your mind at any time.

Where can I get more information?

For more information, including a list of frequently asked questions please go to the website at

Leaflets in other languages and formats are available from the website

You can also get further information from the website at  


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