Patient data consent

  • 2017

Patient data informs research and planning that are essential in continuing to run an efficient NHS. However, many patients may not realise how their data might be used, which may affect their decisions around giving consent for their data to be shared.


According to the principle of simplification, we are more likely to act on a message if it is easy to understand. The more simply information is presented, the more effective it is likely to be in prompting behaviour change. 


We tested two ways of presenting data-sharing choices: two choices (share or not) versus four choices (share for research only, for planning only, for both planning and research, or for neither).

Result & Impact

The simpler choice led to almost four times as many patients opting to share data.