Personal information

At NHS Digital, we collect personal information for two main reasons:

  • because of our official role as the safe haven for patient data in England
  • as part of our normal business

You can read more about our role in health and care, and why we collect personal information from medical records. Those pages contain important information on your choices about your confidential patient information.

This page is about the personal information we may collect about you as part of our normal business. We want you to understand why we hold and process this information, and your choices.

We always collect, hold and process information securely and legally.

Emails and bulletins

We have made the decision to keep sending operational emails and bulletins to addresses already on our lists when GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) comes into force. This is because the information we send is important and helps health and care in England.

Lots of our emails contain technical updates or alerts and it may harm the health and care system if we stop sending these. We consider this legitimate interest.

Every email you receive will have an option on it to remove yourself (unsubscribe) from the list. If you get emails that you do not want, email us at or call us on 0300 303 5678 and tell us what you want to unsubscribe from, and we will remove you from that list.

When you sign up to one of our mailing lists, we do not pass your email address to any third parties. We only subscribe you to the list you have signed up for, and do not use your address to subscribe you to other lists.

Email sent from our contact management software

In messages from our mailing lists, we automatically add a piece of code that requests a small image from our web servers. When a reader opens the email, the image is downloaded. This allows us to monitor how many of the emails we send are opened. We only use it in summary form, for example ‘2,000 people opened the message’.

By default, most email software will be configured to not download the image.

Visiting our website

Our use of cookies

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.

Most web browsers allow some control of cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit

If you do nothing other than read pages or download information, we will capture and store some information about your visit. This information will not identify you, it relates to:

  • the internet domain (such as and anonymised IP address from which you access the website
  • the type of browser (Internet Explorer or Firefox etc) and operating system you use (Windows, Mac OS, UNIX)
  • the date and time of your visit
  • the pages you visit
  • the address of the web site from which you linked to us (if applicable)

This information is not shared with anyone and we do not merge this information with other data.

What do we use the information for?

We use this information to make each visit more rewarding and to provide us with information to help improve our service. We do not know (and do not wish to know) the identities of the individuals who visit our website. You can view the cookies we set here.

Embedded content and managing cookies

On some pages we embed video such as YouTube, charts such as PowerBI or provide links to popular social media sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn.  These services may set cookies on your device.  These cookies are called ‘third party cookies’ and are beyond the control of NHS Digital.

Using webchat

We only collect information you choose to give us when you use the LivePerson webchat service.

Privacy information is provided at the start of the chat. We log your query to help us resolve it, and to improve our services in the future.

Other websites

Our privacy notice only relates to information that we obtain from you.

If you visit a website operated by a third party through a link included on this website, your information may be used differently by the operator of the linked website.

When you are moving to another site you are advised to read the privacy notice relating to that website.

Contacting us by email, phone or post

When you email, call 0300 303 5678, or write to us, your enquiry will be answered by our contact centre.

We collect the information that you give us, and use it to help resolve your query, to contact you about your query, and to improve our services.

We keep this information for 3 years from the date of your enquiry.

Asking to see the information we hold about you

You have the legal right to request a copy of the information we hold about you, in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). You can do this by making a subject access request.

Last edited: 2nd October 2019 19:45 pm