Robert assists his wife Sabe, a registered social worker, to run Holywell Care. The company offers adult social care in Lancashire, including a small home for people with learning disabilities, a domiciliary care service, and a care home for young disabled adults.
Robert first became aware of the need for tighter data security back in 2018 with the introduction of GDPR and the Data Protection Act in the same year. He had already established a working group to look into GDPR compliance while bringing filing systems from the company’s different locations into a centralised server. At the same time, the NHS were suggesting that digital records would be needed for future contracts. As a result, Robert picked up quite early on the DSPT.
Those legislation changes combined with a large, countrywide data breach that affected the organisation further propelled him to review and improve Holywell’s arrangements. He attended two DSPT training sessions organised by Better Security, Better Care, the official support programme for adult social care providers completing the DSPT, where he met other providers and swapped experiences. It also gave him an opportunity to benchmark Holywell Care against similar care services.
Robert has received reports from frontline staff of an increasing number of clients’ family members monitoring care records. That’s because many domiciliary clients and their families can log on to their own personal care records and leave comments for the care service. Robert regards this feedback delivery as very positive because it enables senior staff to gain greater insights and tweak care delivery where necessary. He also recognises how this exemplifies the need to protect the information available on care records, and what policies and processes the business must have in place to ensure this feature can be used safely.
Robert says: “Staff have been through the mill in terms of compliance. They’ve had to move from a paper-based to a digital system which has proved challenging for many people. It’s still early days yet for people to see an advantage in doing this, but I’m confident it will come sooner rather than later.”
Picking up a package of care as a domiciliary care provider often gives the carer access to medical records and therefore providers need to meet ‘Standards Met’ accreditation on the DSPT. And that’s why Robert believes embracing the DSPT is a ‘no-brainer’ – especially when it comes with free training and help. In Robert’s experience, getting support online made him feel part of the conversation.
“The DSPT training sessions were an incentive for us to keep up with new developments in the sector, but also to take the lead in certain areas of the DSPT, for example, questioning the credentials of professional providers of IT-related services and not assuming that they are risk-free, and reviewing some of our own IT-related policies.
“It was exactly what we needed since we weren’t at the centre of any local authority or centralised government discussions. Neither were we part of the NHS. I’m just delighted that Social Care is being supported in this direction. I think the DSPT training, which is free and available both online and in person, is a fantastic move.
“Here at Holywell Care we now have access to a dedicated team of people from our Better Security, Better Care Local Support Organisation who are happy to guide us and from whom we really have benefitted a lot.”
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