A self-assessment tool that all CQC registered providers should complete at least once a year, the DSPT is a helpful way for care services to demonstrate that they have good data and cyber security practices in place. The tool is designed to help businesses have oversight of their data security policies and procedures and provides reassurance to clients and their families that the information care services hold about them is protected.
Although initially overwhelmed, as soon as Beverly received training and accessed the one-to-one support available through the Better Security, Better Care programme’s Local Support Partners, Beverly completed the DSPT in no time. Once reluctant to complete the toolkit, she felt encouraged to embark on electronic care plans, which are now in place in both homes.
Beverly’s need to embark on filling out the DSPT was more of ‘a growing awareness of its necessity’ from other care home managers. She was aware that it would need to be completed but was unsure of how and where to start; being a self-confessed technophobe caused her to put it off.
She regularly attended meetings held by her care partnership which is where she learned about the importance of the DSPT and how it could benefit her business. Beverly’s local care partnership, Dorset Partners in Care, were also one of the 28 Local Support Partners working on the Better Security, Better Care programme and sent her further information detailing how they could support her to complete the toolkit.
“I’d heard the term DSPT banded around by other care managers at local meetings but it wasn’t until I received the email that I realised it’s importance,” she said. “But I’m a bit of a technophobe and kept putting off filling it in. It was only when I went along to a couple of the group training sessions, and learned I could ring an IT helpline if I got stuck, that I developed enough confidence to get on with it.’
Beverly believes that due to limited financial and IT resources, smaller care homes tend to be on the back foot when it comes to implementing big government initiatives. They don’t have a dedicated IT person to approach, for instance. Providing a service with a small number of staff members can also mean that managers are constantly juggling multiple priorities and will avoid pursuing tasks that take a long time to complete.
But luckily, it doesn’t matter how small or large a care service is, nobody has to do it alone. Free tailored, personal advice is available through one of the 28 Local Support Partners of the Better Security, Better Care programme to help them on their journey.
Beverly states that now Vauxian Care Ltd have completed the DSPT she has peace of mind about the business’ data security practices and procedures. She feels confident in her ability to review and republish the toolkit next year as the process should be even simpler now that the company’s policies and procedures are in place. As Beverly explains,
“Once you’ve dedicated your time to it and completed it, then all you have to do is update it annually.”
Beverly is a member of a care business owner social media group in Dorset where information about the sector is exchanged. This was particularly invaluable during the pandemic, allowing the network of small local care home managers and providers to contact each other instantly. It has also been used as a peer support network in helping others to complete parts of the DSPT. As Beverly explains:
“I think the majority of smaller care providers are open. We don’t have anything to hide and are happy to swap information and help one another. If one of us had a question with the DSPT, you could bet another provider had already completed that section and was keen to help.”
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