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Privacy notice

Why we carry out the survey

NatCen Social Research and University College London (UCL) have been asked by NHS Digital to carry out this survey. NHS Digital is sponsored by the Department of Health and Social Care and is the national provider of information, data and IT systems to the health and care system in England.

Why we process your information

The Health Survey for England is an annual survey. Every year, a new set of people are interviewed about their health. We need information about the health of adults and children in England. This is so that new and better ways can be developed to help people maintain healthy lifestyles. It also helps to provide better services for people who are ill.

The lawful basis for collecting this data is the performance of a task carried out in the public interest and a legal obligation on NHS Digital to carry out this work. NHS Digital is the data controller for the study. NatCen Social Research and University College London are the data processors.

Do I have to take part?

Taking part is voluntary. In all our surveys we rely on voluntary co-operation. The success of the survey depends on the goodwill of those asked to take part. The more people who do take part, the more useful the results will be.

You are free to withdraw from the survey at any time. Once the survey results have been published, we would not be able to change the results by removing individual information. However, you can request that your personal data is deleted at any time.

Sharing your personal information

We take great care to protect the confidentiality of the information people give us. Your identity will only be known to certain members of the NatCen and UCL research teams and authorised individuals at NHS Digital.

We will handle your data in accordance with data protection legislation. The survey report is anonymised - results will not be presented in a form which reveals your identity. We would only have to tell someone else what you say if, during the interview, you tell us about possible harm to yourself or others.

Linking survey answers to other information?

We will ask for your consent to link some of your NHS health information with your survey answers. If you agree, your name, address and date of birth, will be passed to authorised individuals at NHS Digital. NHS Digital will use this information to identify your NHS number to be able to link to health information that they maintain. This information will then be shared with us.

This would let us add information to survey answers about hospital visits, specific health conditions such as cancer, and details about dates and causes of death. This information will be used for statistical and research purposes only. The information will not identify you and it cannot be used by anyone treating you as a patient. You can cancel this permission at any time by contacting NatCen or NHS Digital.

Follow-up studies?

In the future, NatCen or NHS Digital may want to contact you about follow-up research on health or health services. We will only invite you to take part in follow-up research if you give written consent for this. If you are invited to take part in any future studies, you will be free to refuse if you do not want to take part. NHS Digital will carefully review all proposals from researchers/organisations to conduct follow-up research before giving approval. We will not pass on any of your details without your permission. NHS Digital will not approve any requests that are for commercial use. If you are invited to take part in any future studies, you will be free to refuse if you do not want to take part. If you want to remove your consent at any time you can contact NHS Digital or NatCen via the contact details below.

How long will you keep my data?

The Health Survey has been running since 1991 and gives us very important information about how people’s health has changed over time. To help us do this, we would like to keep information about people’s health permanently, so we can look at trends over time. You can request that your personal data is deleted at any time.

Contact us

If you have any queries, or want to request that we change or delete your information, contact us:

Chloe Robinson, Research Director
Kings House, 101-135 Kings Road,
Brentwood, Essex, CM14 4LX
Tel: 0800 526 397

You can also contact NHS Digital:

General enquiries
Email :
Telephone: 0300 303 5678.
NHS Data protection Officer

Data Protection Officers are responsible for upholding your rights and making sure we process your information correctly.

If you would like to complain to the Data Protection Regulator, you can contact:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House, Water Lane,