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Digital Social Care has been working with the Local Government Association, NHS Digital and NHSX on how to help care providers keep information safe. As part of this work we have previously funded local projects and published research on data security in social care. We are now launching ‘Better Security, Better Care’ a programme of national and regional support for care providers completing the Data Security & Protection Toolkit (DSPT). There is more information in the Q&A below.

How will the Better Security, Better Care programme help adult social care providers with the DSPT?

The programme nationally will have:

  • Webinars covering different aspects of the DSPT – starting in October 2020. For details and to book, please see https://www.digitalsocialcare.co.uk/events/.
  • Lots of useful tools and guidance on the Digital Social Care website.
  • The Digital Social Care helpline, which is open to all care providers for advice on the DSPT. It is open between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday by calling 0208 133 3430 or by email on [email protected].
  • Direct contact with and guidance for larger providers, including those that are part of the CQC Market Oversight Scheme – starting in November 2020.

All adult social care providers, including services like day services which are not registered with CQC, can access this national support.

There will also be local support. Local support will focus on the needs of smaller and medium sized care providers and will mainly be for services that are registered with CQC. Local support will include things like awareness raising, interactive online workshops, and some 1:1 support for care providers who need the most assistance.

What about larger organisations?

Most larger organisations will already have well developed arrangements for data and cyber security, usually led by their head offices rather than by local services. It is therefore planned that contact and support to them should be provided centrally, by Digital Social Care, rather than trying to fit national organisations in to the pattern of local support. This would apply to organisations that operate nationally, or across a number of regions. Where there are organisations that are large but locally based, support and guidance would usually be provided locally or regionally in the first instance.

How is local support being organised?

The aim where possible is to fund local care sector organisations, for example care associations, so that they can offer local support. We are halfway through a process to appoint them. We hope to complete the process by the middle of November, so that local organisations can start raising awareness in November and December and get going fully in January. There will be a different arrangement in London, and we will be reaching out to areas for which there hasn’t been an expression of interest from a local care sector to discuss how local support could best be arranged.

Will this be the only support available?

Often it won’t be. Many CCGs, Integrated Care Systems, other NHS organisations and local councils are already supporting adult social care providers with the DSPT, and this will continue. The care sector organisations appointed to provide local support as part of the Better Security, Better Care programme will reach out to their local partners and networks and ensure that the support they offer fits in the best way locally.

I work in a local council, CCG, STP, ICS or an AHSN and I have an interest in the DSPT. I would like to make contact with the organisations putting together plans for local support. Can I do so?

Yes, your contact would be very much welcomed. If you contact [email protected], we’ll be able to give you the relevant details.

What support will there be for commissioners?

The Local Government Association has written guidance for commissioners on supporting adult social care providers with the DSPT. The guidance is currently being updated. When the updated guidance has been published, a series of regional webinars for commissioners will be arranged.