There are many reasons why it is useful for the NHS to share patient information, it is research after all which provides the medicines and services which we rely on.
However the NHS is changing the way your information must be obtained by researchers and for some groups of people, especially those in minority groups, this may not be a comfortable change.
The change means that, unless you opt out in the next couple of weeks, your information will be sent from your GP where it can then be sold, apparently having been anonymised, to private companies.
And some of the difficulties with it here .
Remember it is opt out – if you do nothing you will be opted in. If you do wish to opt out you need to tell your GP – in writing is probably best.
Remember this is not being done though hospitals or other services (such as gender clinics), although it is possible that information sent to and from your GP regarding these services may be collected.
Edit March 2014 – This has now been delayed, but I recommend you continue to make your views clear until such time as a firm policy is in place.