All adult social care providers across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin are being encouraged to check and improve how they store and share information.
It’s all part of a national and local programme – Better Security, Better Care – to improve data protection and cyber security within the care sector.
Partners in Care is offering free, expert advice to care homes, homecare agencies, supported living providers and other care services for adults right across the area on how to check and improve their current data protection arrangements. They are one of 33 Better Security Better Care local partners across England.
“It’s very important to those who trust us to demonstrate that we take keeping their privacy safe. Friends and families trust us to care for their loved ones, but they might not consider the care for their personal and financial information,” explains Louise Claybrook from Partners in Care. “In this day and age there is an increasing focus on guidance on your technology and data safety which can have significant implications if breached. Whether it’s paper or digital records, we need to protect that information and only share it with those who genuinely need access. It’s the law, and frankly it’s a safeguarding issue.”
The Better Security, Better Care programme is helping local care providers to use the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT) to assess and improve their current policies, procedures and practices on data management and cyber security. The DSPT is a comprehensive, free self-assessment tool, and it’s backed up by a major support programme: from detailed online guidance, template policies, and webinars, through to direct support from local support partners to help care providers work through their answers.
The programme is also reminding service providers that the DSPT needs to be completed every year. The deadline for 2023/24 is 30 June 2024.
“If a provider has completed it in the past, they can just review, update and republish,” says Louise. “They don’t have to start from scratch, but if they don’t republish, they can’t use an out-of-date DSPT as evidence of their current arrangements.”
Having an up-to-date DSPT is required under NHS contracts and is increasingly being added as a requirement of local authority contracts. The DSPT opens access to secure email with the health service via NHSmail, and it is a pre-requisite for accessing NHS shared records systems such as GP connect or proxy medication ordering.
Adult social care providers can find out more, and access support at:
Telephone: 01743 860011
For further information please contact Louise Claybrook, Project Officer – Digital Transformation, Partners in Care, at
Partners in Care, 6 Farriers Business Centre
Annscroft, Shrewsbury SY5 8AN, Tel: 01743 860011.