Action Research Fund: Harnessing Cyber Security Expertise in Social Care

Action Research Fund: Harnessing Cyber Security Expertise in Social Care

In December 2023, Better Security, Better Care launched the Action Research Fund – a three-month research project which aims to harness cyber security and data expertise and knowledge from across the sector with the aim to identify gaps and opportunities for adult social care.

Following proposals and a review panel made up of sector experts, five project grants were awarded to 4 organisations. This approach will provide an opportunity to pilot a set of new ideas at a smaller scale before potentially expanding reach and impact.

The action research fund officially reached its mid-way point on the 31st of January with projects well underway and a steering group providing updates to key stakeholders on the progress of each project and their next steps. Here’s a quick overview of the research initiatives currently underway:

EMCARE: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) In the Social Care Sector
The project focuses on understanding and addressing challenges related to BYOD in adult social care. The project aims to explore the cyber security measures involved in effectively safeguarding confidential information, with the goal to develop practical solutions that are tested with care providers.

EMCARE: Police and Adult Social Care Partnership Working
The project aims to understand how the care sector can effectively engage with local policing to improve cyber security infrastructure. The project will explore possible hurdles in engagement, alternative offers available, and assess the historical and current cyber security landscape. EMCARE is working directly with Leicestershire Police Cyber Security/Crime Unit with the aim to improve engagement and sector knowledge with regards to Police support.

Liverpool Social Care Partnership: Cyber and Digital Safeguarding Champions
This project is a feasibility study aimed at understanding providers’ attitudes towards developing Cyber and Digital Safeguarding Champions in their organisations. These Champions would act as the communications point within organisations and advocate for digital and cyber safeguarding as a potential route to address the escalating threat of cyber attacks.

National Care Forum: Digitisation of social care records for working age adults exploring access, control, and digital exclusion
This project addresses the process of securing data for working age adults receiving care and how organisations can avoid excluding the individual. It aims to explore how organisations promoting access to care records do this and will establish an initial view of the effect on working age adults when providers adopt digital social care records.

Templar Executives: Cyber Incident Response for Adult Social Care Provider Training and Resource
The project aims to address the challenges faced by adult social care providers, particularly smaller organisations, in responding to and reporting cyber incidents with confidence. The goal is to create a bespoke guidance resource for an effective Cyber Incident Response (CIR).

The Action Research Fund project is due to close on the 5th of March 2024, culminating at the Better Security, Better Care programme away day.

The outcomes from the first round of projects will contribute to the strategic planning process for the programme, and the wider policy development portfolio. The programme will evaluate the pilot projects to determine which are viable for further investigation, informing or even becoming larger-scale projects in the future.

Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

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