Confidential patient information is when 2 types of information from your health records are joined together.
The 2 types of information are:
Identifiable information on its own is used by health and care services to contact patients and this is not confidential patient information.
There are two different opt-out types which both refer to information sharing for purposes other than that of direct patient care.
Type 1 opt-out: Applies to Medical Records held at your GP practice
You can tell your GP practice if you do not want your confidential patient information held in your GP medical record to be used for purposes other than your individual care. This is commonly called a type 1 opt-out. This opt-out request can only be recorded by your GP practice.
National data opt-out: Applies across the Health and Care System in England
In May 2018, a new national data opt-out was introduced following recommendations from the National Data Guardian. Individuals can opt out of having their confidential patient information shared for reasons beyond their individual care, for example for research and planning. If you’re happy with your confidential patient information being used for research and planning, you do not need to do anything. You can find out more and set your opt-out choice at nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters.
The national data opt-out does not apply where:
data is shared for your individual care;
there is a risk to public health or data is required for monitoring and control of infectious diseases, for example during an epidemic;
there is an overriding public interest;
there is a legal requirement to share information, for example:
NHS Digital  monitors the number of patients applying their opt-out rights through aggregated  data sources. Whilst patients have the right to opt out of having their data shared for purposes other than direct patient care, sharing data allows the NHS to better understand the needs of patients. It also allows for more comprehensive performance monitoring of services and allows organisations to adequately benchmark themselves. This allows care providers and commissioners to work collaboratively to improve the quality of, and accessibility to local services.
 See Appendix B ‘Key Definitions’ – NHS Digital
 See Appendix B ‘Key Definitions’ - Aggregated Data