The Opt Out process for those with children

This page has been superseded by a 2021 page

Below is left here for historical purposes

medConfidential’s opt-out form for GP data continues to allow you to protect the information held by your family GP as it has always done – but the only way to protect your data collected by hospitals and in other care contexts is now via NHS Digital.

NHS Digital does not (yet) have direct access to your GP record, so its opt-out process requires you to take several steps – and officials have decided that people who have children must make a third.

Additional steps forced on those who care for children

If you have children, or other dependents, and wish to express a choice about the use of their medical records for purposes beyond their direct care, the process is needlessly complex.

NHS Digital provides no online process for families with children even those who are registered with the NHS at the same home address as their parent or carer – so you must use its online process for yourself alone, and then use a separate postal process for any children under 13.

(Children aged 13 or over can express their own choice about their medical records for themselves online.)

So, instead of the single form you could use to express your choice for yourself and your family back in 2014, you must now do THREE things:

1) For your own hospital and other non-GP data: opt out (or opt back in) online

2) For your dependents’ hospital and other non-GP data: post this form to NHS Digital

3) For your and your dependents’ GP data: give this form to your GP

If you don’t have access to a working printer, e-mail with your postal address and we will post you copies of the paper forms, for free, no questions asked. If you don’t have e-mail, you can text your address to 07980 210 746.

If you can afford to make a small donation to support us in offering this service to others, we have a donation page.

registered with the ICO to process personal data in this way.)


It appears the “most digital” Secretary of State the NHS has ever had would rather place the burden of understanding and action onto individual patients – especially those with families – than solve the problem his officials have created.

And the fix is simple: NHS Digital’s online process confirms who you are to the extent that you are able to express your choice online, yet it chooses not to ask if you have any children – who could then be confirmed in exactly the same way the process confirms that you are who you say you are. The move to ‘digitise’ the National Data Opt-out left YOU with more work to do…

This extra work for you is a deliberate choice; it didn’t have to be this way.

Once you have expressed your wishes about your and your family’s data, you may also wish to write to your MP and ask them to ask the Department of Health why you are being forced to jump through these hoops.

Because while healthy, young, and particularly male protagonists commonly have little understanding or insight into the types of sensitive information they will one day have to divulge to their doctor – and the consequences of confidentiality not being respected – others do not have the luxury of such ignorance.