By Michelle Corrigan, Programme Director of Better Security, Better Care.
Every care provider needs access to accurate, up-to-date information to help them provide good care to individuals, and to run their organisation. Whether that’s information about someone’s medical needs, staff members’ qualifications, or financial records and contracts: the ability to store and share that information safely – in print or digitally – is essential to running a care service.
As Ian Turner, Chair of the Registered Nursing Homes Association has said:
“Keeping data safe – and providing evidence that you are doing this – is no longer an optional extra for care providers. It’s part of our role as responsible organisations. And of course sharing information digitally with colleagues across health and care during the covid-19 pandemic has been essential to providing good care.”
All adult social care providers in England can now get free support from the Better Security, Better Care programme to help them review and improve their data protection policies, procedures and practices. And the programme has recently been expanded to include 29 local support partners across the country.
The main focus of the programme is to help care providers to understand the importance of data and cyber security, and complete an annual, online self-assessment using the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT).
The Toolkit shows care providers what they need to do to keep people’s information safe, and to protect their business from the risk of a data breach or a cyber attack.
When providers complete the toolkit, they can publish and share information about the standard they have reached, and how they are improving their policies, procedures and practice. This information can be shared with the Care Quality Commission, health and care commissioners, the Information Commissioner, service users and carers to demonstrate the steps they are taking to meet legal and regulatory requirements, and to keep information safe.
One of the real benefits of using the Toolkit, is that care providers who reach Standards Met, can potentially take part in NHS patient information sharing projects such as shared records projects and proxy access to medication.
We know that care providers are incredibly busy, and you are not data and cyber security experts. That’s why we have teams ready to help and support you. Please get in touch with us and find out more at www.digitalsocialcare.co.uk/bettersecuritybettercare
“I would not be able to communicate effectively with NHS organisations without completing the Data Security and Protection Toolkit – it really opens doors. It’s comprehensive and well organised, so we didn’t have to scramble around to find out what standard or piece of legislation we needed to consider. It was all in one place.”
Anand Patel, Registered Manager at Belvedere Park Nursing Home
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Better Security, Better Care support programme
- tools, guidance and films
- The Digital Social Care helpline: 0208 133 3430 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday
29 local support partners are supporting local, small and medium sized, CQC-registered services with:
- Information and advice on data and cyber security
- Free webinars, workshops and training on data security, and on how to complete the Data Security and Protection Toolkit
- One-to-one support to complete the Toolkit for those who need it.
Large care groups
Digital Social Care is supporting the head offices and services of these large provider groups with the DSPT.
Find out more
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Better Security, Better Care upcoming events
Join a national or local event. www.digitalsocialcare.co.uk/events
12 May – Better Security, Better Care: Collaborating on data and cyber security
12 and 26 May – How to register for the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT)
18 May – London councils webinar: Inhouse adult social care and the Data Security and Protection Toolkit
19 and 24 May – In-house local authority adult care services and the Data Security and Protection Toolkit