Opening a care service is no small feat, this is something Rose Pasimupindu, Registered Manager of Inspire Lives knows all too well. When she opened her domiciliary care service at the beginning of the year, she wanted to make sure Inspire Lives prioritised secure data management from the very beginning. As Rose explains,
“I registered with the CQC and the initial thing I thought of was “How am I going to manage data? I also joined the Information Commissioners Office, but that did not give me the hands-on knowledge of what to do with information.”
Not knowing where to turn for answers, Rose sought advice from other care providers but didn’t feel like she got the answers she needed. That was until she came across the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT), which was when she says “everything changed”.
Rose received an email offer of free support to complete the DSPT from her region’s Local Support Organisation (LSO), EMCARE. As she describes,
“I didn’t even know what it was – I had to Google it and find out.”
At the same time, Rose was going through the process of applying for a tender with Nottingham and Nottinghamshire council. This is where she learned that completing the DSPT was a requirement of the tender as it would help her demonstrate to commissioners that she took data protection and cyber security seriously. With two weeks until the deadline, Rose contacted her LSO to take advantage of the free support offer available to complete the DSPT.
Rose joined the training workshops that her LSO had to offer but was worried she wouldn’t be able to meet the tender deadline when an urgent family matter meant she had to make a last-minute trip abroad. As Rose details,
“I couldn’t come to the face-to-face training and I couldn’t believe that my Local Support Organisation actually took a day out and met with me on Zoom whilst I was out of the country.”
Rose adds, “It made me feel emotional that there are good people out there willing to help care providers with their data protection and security. The support was amazing, they talked me through everything in order to complete the DSPT. As a result, I met the tender deadline, and it was awarded to me!”
Having completed the DSPT Rose immediately implemented changes to improve her data security, implementing measures such as two-factor authentication for improved mobile device management and successfully encouraging her office provider to install CCTV and key fobs. She adds,
“We’re still a small staff team but we already have a staff member trained as the Data Protection Officer”.
When speaking of the impact completing the DSPT has made for Inspire Lives, Rose tells us, “I think it validates us in the market place”, and when discussing the impact for service users, Rose tells us “During the initial assessment, we talk about how their data is going to be stored and shared and I think it gives them assurance to know that their data is being protected”.
“I want to urge new and old providers to just hop on to the Data Security and Protection Toolkit. There are so many cyber-attacks happening out there, you wouldn’t want your organisation singled out!”
Rose adds, “It’s important for every person, to use the DSPT and ensure that every year it’s updated, because things are always changing in care”.