As a software or technology supplier to the adult social care sector, you know how important it is to have data protection and cyber security built in to your systems.
But your clients also need to understand how to store and share information safely. Their day-to-day practices are as important as your technical solutions.
You can help your clients to become data and cyber security savvy by directing them to the Better Security, Better Care programme and our free resources. Here are our top tips and some useful links.
Raise awareness of data protection and cyber security
You will, of course, be pitching the very real benefits of using digital tech. But you can also remind care providers of how important it is to follow good policies, procedures and practices. It’s really a safeguarding responsibility. If they suffer from a data breach or a successful cyber attack, their business and reputation is at risk. And they could face a fine from the Information Commissioner’s Office. It is also worth reminding them that the Care Quality Commission requires them to manage information safely.
Encourage care providers to use the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT)
The DSPT is the official, free, online self-assessment tool for care services. It takes them through a series of questions which enables them to check and improve their policies, procedures and practices.
If your software enables care providers to access shared NHS information systems – such as GP Connect – then those care providers MUST have reached at least Standards Met on the DSPT before they can use the system. And if your systems also hold and process the data, you also need to have the DSPT in place.
The DSPT must be updated at least once a year in order to be considered a valid source of evidence.
Direct them to free, expert support
The Better Security, Better Care programme provides free support to help care providers to complete the DSPT. We oversee the programme which includes detailed online guidance, a national helpline, plus direct, tailored support from 28 local support partners across England.
Digital Care Hub Helpline: [email protected] Tel 0808 196 4848 (Mon-Fri 9-5)
Share guides and template policies
All of our detailed guidance and comprehensive range of template policies are free for care providers to use. You can share them with your clients. But please, acknowledge Digital Care Hub as the author and don’t charge for these resources. They are open source, but not for commercial use.
Help with skills and training
You will be training your clients on how to use your packages. But we know that many care providers struggle to develop their staff’s digital and data protection skills. You can direct them to our resources on data protection and cyber security, and to the Digitising Social Care website which hosts the Digital Skills Framework.
Here’s some standard copy that you can use when communicating with care providers. You might want to add it to your own websites, or include in newsletters, pitches and correspondence with existing and potential clients. (We are currently updating a digital leaflet that you can download and share with your clients.)
We take all steps to ensure our systems are secure. If you want to check and improve your own data and cyber security arrangements, we strongly recommend that you use the official, free Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT). It’s a comprehensive, online, self-assessment tool designed to help care providers to follow legal requirements and good practice.
There is also a free, national and local support programme to enable you to complete the DSPT – and improve your policies, procedures and practices. The Better Security, Better Care programme provides easy-to-follow guidance, template policies that you can download and adapt, a national helpline and direct, tailored support from 28 local support partners across England.
Even if you are currently using the DSPT, it is a good idea to review and update it whenever you introduce new data or tech systems.
The DSPT needs to be completed at least once a year. And if you access NHS systems or deliver services under and NHS contract it is mandatory.
Find out more about the DSPT and the Better Security, Better Care programme on the Digital Social Care website at www.digitalcarehub.co.uk/bettersecuritybettercare