EAST Lancashire households have received a leaflet which explains changes to the way the NHS shares patient information.

The national changes are aimed at highlighting different diseases and conditions that may require more NHS investment, as well as improving services.

The move has been criticised by privacy campaigners, but patients can refuse their data being used for purposes other than their direct care by contacting their GP.

Dr Mike Ions, chief clinical officer at East Lancashire Clincial Commissioning Group, said: “It’s relatively easy to opt out. You just need to speak to your GP .”