Why is it important to use patient data?
There is huge potential to use patient data for care and to improve health, care and services across the NHS. The information can be used to help:
- improve individual care
- understand more about disease risks and causes
- improve diagnosis
- develop new treatments and prevent disease
- plan NHS services
- improve patient safety
- evaluate government and NHS policy.
Find out more in our searchable bank of case studies.
How is data kept safe?
It is essential that patient data is kept safe and secure, to protect your confidentiality.
What are the risks?
We need to get better at talking about the risks and any possible harms when data is used, so that people can weigh up the risks and benefits for themselves. It’s really important that we do this well and so we want to take some time to get it right. We’ll have a resource discussing these issues in more detail here soon.
What is patient data, who can access it and why – find out more here.
What else would you like to see here?
We are working on further resources to add to this site, including a mythbuster and lots more FAQs. We are also thinking how best to show what happens to information from your patient record when you’re treated in the NHS. For example, we might develop an animation to show where data flows and why, who sees what, and the safeguards. Please do let us know what else you would find useful.
People want to know whether they could be identified when data about them is used. What does anonymised data really mean?